Marti Hankins is the owner of Marti Era Designs in Fairmount, Ill, which she and her husband, Todd, founded in 2004 to develop and market postsurgical bras for mastectomy patients. Hankins is a 3-year breast-cancer survivor who experienced a double mastectomy with reconstruction. After her reconstruction, Hankins realized that there was a need for postsurgical garments and developed and patented a bra line that provides the comfort and support that patients need.

What types of patients would benefit from wearing the bras manufactured by Marti Era Designs?

Any woman who has gone through breast surgery would benefit from our bras. The bras are supportive, latex-free, and made of a fine compression material provided by a manufacturer with more than 15 years of experience in surgical compression wear. Breast-surgery patients can benefit from them whether they have had a mastectomy, an augmentation, a reduction, or a lumpectomy. Cardiac patients can benefit by their support, drain openings, and adjustable features.

What are the important features of the bras?

The patient can adjust our bras to fit each breast. The shoulder straps, front, and sides are all adjustable, along with the openings on the side for drain tubes to come out over the band, not under. There are no seams on the inside; all seams are made to optimize comfort and compression while the patient is healing. No cotton or latex is used.

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What sizes and colors are available?

Sizes range from small to XXL. Fitting the bras is very simple. You measure across and beneath the breast, and compare it to the sizing chart ranges. The measurements tell you which size to order. If the patient is having breast surgery, you measure the breast prior to the surgery. The bras are available in tan, black, and white.

You also sell examination gowns. What makes them unique?

Our examination gown is one-size-fits-all and has pouches to hold drain bulbs during examinations. The sides are open, and it has a tie-front closure.