Some women need extra support after bypass surgery

Bras designed for women recovering from bypass surgery may ease pain and minimize infections.

Could a new type of bra help women recover from heart surgery with less pain and fewer infections? That's the question separate teams of Australian and Canadian nurses are trying to answer.

Standard open-heart surgery for bypassing a blocked coronary artery or repairing a faulty valve starts with an incision down the middle of the chest from the notch at the base of the throat to the top of the abdomen. The surgeon then splits the breastbone and separates the two sides to gain access to the heart. This part of the operation is called a sternotomy, since it opens the sternum, or breastbone. Thanks to the wonders of anesthesia, it doesn't hurt a bit — until the drugs wear off.

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