Dr. Sherri Lorraine, ’03, ’02, a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) graduate, never trained as a seamstress. Yet for years, as she provided physical therapy for breast cancer patients, she found herself cutting, hemming, and sewing store-bought compression tops to make them more comfortable—and easier for her patients to put on.
The tops, which are worn after surgery, biopsies, and radiation, help prevent lymphedema. But patients said they itched, lacked consistent compression, and had high necklines. By using their feedback, Lorraine came up with her own design and began manufacturing a product for her patients.
The For the Girls Compression Top, made from moisture-wicking material, applies compression in the chest, arms, and armpits to keep lymph (fluid containing white blood cells) moving. Polyester thread makes it soft on the skin, and sleeves reach the largest part of the bicep, keeping the top taut and preventing encroachment on lymph vessels, Lorraine says.
“The top also has a scooped neckline that retains its shape,” she adds. “Patients who have had breast surgery cannot lift overhead, which is why it’s so important that they can step into this top.”
Lorraine’s studies show patients who wore the top for 24 hours after treatment had less swelling than those who didn’t. But it’s not only breast cancer patients who benefit. Pregnant women love the top, as do triathletes, because of its support, Lorraine says.
To learn more, visit forthegirlscompressiontop.com.