Behind our Seecret Undies
In 2010, I realized that something needed to change when I first saw a vulvar cancer patient one day after her surgery. As a plastic surgeon in training, I had to examine the wound and change the dressings. I still remember how difficult it was for the nurses to get the patient’s legs out of her underwear. After examining the wound, one of the nurses turned to the patient and asked, “Oh, it’ll take so much effort to put your underwear back on... do you mind if we leave them off?” Unfortunately, I’ve seen this exact scenario occur time and time again after surgery. Putting on and taking off underwear is simply too painful for these patients and too much effort for their carers, but it shouldn’t be this way.
After surgery, it’s essential that wounds are examined and have regular dressing changes. Some flap reconstructions I perform require skin or other tissues to be transferred from other sites, so they need to be inspected several times a day to assess the health of the tissues. For this reason, I designed Seecret Undies™ to give patients and their carers this necessary access. The Undies’ single-piece, front-opening design allows the garment to be opened up easily for wound access. Once the wound has been examined and the dressings have been changed, it’s just as easy to re-secure the Velcro along its adjustable strips, so that the Undies fit snugly. Most importantly, this whole process can be done without moving the patient. This makes the Undies very useful for any patient with limited mobility, such as those after a stroke or those who are paralyzed. These patients can be ‘log-rolled’ onto and off of the garment. Similarly, patients with leg casts or orthopedic braces can benefit as well, by sitting on the opened Undies and closing them with the velcroed wings to put them on. Because of how easy the Undies are to put on and remove, they are ideal for patients receiving frequent treatments, such as daily radiation to this area. Finally, our Undies can also be useful for new moms, who may have dressings or a C-section scar. Overall, many people can benefit from the versatility and design of our Undies.
Additionally, the Undies include a gap in-between the velcro patches on each wing, creating a designated path for a urinary catheter. This path is essential for keeping catheters secure when patients are in bed or moving around. Two elasticated loops on the sides secure any drains patients may have after surgery.
Simply put, I have not found anything quite like our Seecret Undies™. Our Undies is not a compression garment – there are plenty of those. Our Seecret Undies™ is a garment focused on providing comfort for the wearer and access to their carer.
-- Dr. Li
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