I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2009, at the age of 41. Within a month, I had undergone bi-lateral mastectomy surgery and the beginning stages of breast reconstruction. Due to complications from a tainted tissue expander and multiple infections, I underwent seven surgeries and four months of hyperbaric treatments during that first year after diagnosis. Quickly frustrated with showering in a trash bag due to post-surgical drains, I designed a water-resistant garment, presently known as The Shower Shirt®, a product to restrict water from coming into mastectomy patients’ surgical drain sites.
The fundamental purpose behind The SHOWER SHIRT is to reduce Surgical Site Infections. Like mastectomy surgery, many surgical procedures involve placement of surgical drains which penetrate the skin. These drains can act as a portal for bacteria to enter the wound site. Tap water contains bacteria.
Exposure to water while trying to bathe significantly increases the risk of post-surgical infections. Mastectomy patients are routinely instructed by surgeons not to shower until drains are removed, which can easily span up to three weeks.
After nearly four years on the market, The SHOWER SHIRT™ continues to be the only water-resistant garment to protect breast cancer/mastectomy patients while showering post-surgery. The SHOWER SHIRT is presently available in more than 70 mastectomy boutiques and hospital-based retail locations across the United States, Europe and Canada. Our product is sold online with Walmart.com medical device division, AMAZON, Health Products for You, and Cure Diva.
About Lisa F. Crites:
Previous to inventing The SHOWER SHIRT, Lisa was a Health/Medical Broadcast reporter and weekend anchor for Central Florida News 13, a 24-hour CNN Network affiliate, located in Orlando, FL. Her background in television also includes anchoring at America’s Health Network (now Discovery Health), and reporting for ‘Success Central Florida,’ a business news magazine airing on WKMG, the CBS affiliate in Orlando. Lisa is also a Corporate Healthcare Consultant and media strategist, working with various health related entities across the United States; a Gannett News Service consultant and broadcast media coach; NADA-TV television news correspondent, a CNTV news correspondent and a guest feature writer for National Health Review publication.