In his clinical practice over the years he has assessed many women requesting breast reduction surgery who have significant functional problems that include neck, shoulder and back ache and intertrigo. Some of these issues are related to the size of their breasts. Some of them are secondary to a poorly fitted bra that compounds the problems they have. Several studies have shown that at least 80% women wear the wrong size bra. It has been accepted by the scientific community that their correct size simply does not exist because the traditional measuring technique is uni-dimensional and not enough parameters are taken into account. A system where a breast is supposed to fit a cup rather than a bra fit the breast is not helpful for breast health.
Techniques for surgery of the breast ( augmentation, reduction and reconstruction) have evolved over the last two decades with a better understanding of the anatomy of the breast aided with detailed measurements.
He was invited by the Lingerie Industry in 2010 to speak at the at the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ABSCI). His presentation was ‘Building an Interface Between Surgery and the Lingerie Industry’ and he discussed how surgical measurements could help in the design of a bra to deal with the functional problems that women have with large breasts.
The Optifit bra has been specifically designed to eliminate negative breast pressure. It is a unique, patented garment with its own sizing system and fitting technique. The Optifit is based on three measurements taken with a patented elastic strap (the optimeasure) using colour, letter and number combinations to define frame, depth and volume, and fitting can be adjusted for even minimal asymmetry. It does not require an underwire and the back sits low, in line with physical principles (as most of the weight it supports is at the front), elevating the breast and projecting the nipple upwards, promoting better posture and a slimmer profile by eliminating unpleasant bulges/rolls caused by too-tight traditional bras riding up the wearer’s back. There are 8 colours for the frame, 3 heights (short, medium and long) and 1 to 21 measurements for projection/volume allowing for potentially 504 sizes for the whole range ( red S 1 to Turquoise L21).
It has been designed by Sue Mcdonald who has undertaken post graduate studies into the origin of bra grading at De Montfort University UK and developed the product in collaboration with Atul Khanna a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust who felt a need for a better designed bra given the problems he has seen in his clinical practice with patients having functional problems with large breasts being potentiated with poorly fitted bra. He presented the findings of an independent study at the Body conference, Royal society of Medicine, 4.11.2012: Onwards and Upwards- Surgical principles meet the lingerie. 75 women responded to a postal survey who had bought one or more optifit bras from 2004 to 2006. 24% had purchased the bra for health reasons (functional problems related to bra size), 53% as a maternity bra, 2.6% post surgery, and 20% for other reasons. For those who purchased the bra for health reasons 83% reported improved posture and 72% felt that it had helped with their functional problems. 90% of all respondents marked the bra fitting to be excellent, 70% of all respondents felt the bra to be comfortable, 93% would buy the product again and recommend the product.