Tampon Nest on Your Chest?

I was asked recently by a viewer on Youtube to explain how I placed products in my bra before I created the JellyBra. I realize that I had mentioned it briefly in one of my previous posts, but I had never truly explained it. So, without further ado…

I spoke to a quite well-known reconstructive surgeon about my experience with my plastic surgeon about two years ago. Reconstructive surgeons help “reconstruct” your chest after you have undergone a mastectomy. Surgeons who perform mastectomies are not motivated by the aesthetic results of their operations. Their main objective is to get in, slash about, take out cancerous (or pre-cancerous) material, and close the patient up. Because they are not technically plastic surgeons, they don’t necessarily care about how their patient’s scarring turns out. Often, mastectomy patients are left with a very large “slash” across their chests.

Reconstructive surgeons are there to help manage the look and feel of scars and usually will perform the augmentation surgery. They are motivated to take care of that aesthetic need for many women who have just gone through an emotionally painful surgery. Because of all of this, I figured speaking to a reconstructive surgeon would be helpful for me on my quest to educate myself about scar treatment.

The surgeon whom I spoke with told me that when his patients come to him, he tells them that they should wear a sports bra for around 4-12 months. Underneath the sports bra, they are to put on silicone strips over their scars and then stuff their bras with tampons. The tampons are meant to “line” the scarring and provide extra pressure to the incision site. The surgeon tells his patients that they should stuff their bras this way for up to 24 hours per day for the full scar therapy cycle which could last anywhere from 4-18+ months.

I did this for a couple of months—and it worked realllyyy well. But, it was extremely uncomfortable as you can imagine! It also felt terrible because I had just gone through this surgery to make myself feel lighter, remove pain, and finally forget about my chest and then here I was back again…unable to get my mind off the gross tampon nest I was harboring under my shirt.

So, I decided that enough was enough- I would make a more comfortable bra with all that good stuff inside of it.

This is one of my first prototypes. One of my fosters was an early fan.

This is one of my first prototypes. One of my fosters was an early fan.

The prototype above doesn’t look like much, but it has the silicone and pressure I needed to get my scars taken care of. I added vulcanizing silicone gel into the cups. I opted not to focus on the sites where my scars were. Instead, I spread the gel over the whole cup and band so that I could get full-coverage. One of the things I hate most about the silicone strips is that they fold up or wrinkle up leaving some of the scarring exposed without treatment. I didn’t want to risk it with this.

I made myself a couple of underwire bras and a couple of bralettes that I could sleep in. I was able to wash all of them in a washer just like I would a normal bra. It was the easiest thing and I never had to worry about the gel coming off.

I’m hoping that the JellyBra can serve this same effective purpose while staying easy and comfortable for all users.

Best,

Meg

Meghan Fitzpatrick