Doctor Designs Garment to Keep You ‘COVR’d’ During Surgery

After years of watching his patients having to deal with awkward fitting garments to stay covered during a procedure, Dr. Bruce Levy and his wife, Heather, designed a better option.

Bruce Levy, M.D., became a surgeon to fix people, he recently told Thrive Global. When he was 18, Dr. Levy was "fixed up" himself by an orthopedic surgeon after a motocross accident, and he realized through the experience that he wanted to do the same for others. "I knew at that moment that I had to become a surgeon," he tells the publication. Dr. Levy did just that, and today is a member of the staff at Mayo Clinic.

Now there's something else Dr. Levy wants to fix. Call it the privacy problem. Medical procedures, particularly those involving the hip and pelvic areas, often leave patients exposed during surgery. Carefully draped towels can provide some coverage, but they often slip off. After witnessing this for years, Dr. Levy came home from work one day and told his wife, Heather, "There must be a better way." The couple set about to find it, spending time sketching "possible groin-covering garments" and making "trips to the store for underwear to use in experiments," reports the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

Eventually the Levys "created an adjustable prototype that both covered the patient's groin as well as allowed doctors access for treatment," the newspaper reports. And shortly afterward, COVR Medical was born. (Tagline? "We've got you COVR'd.") The company, formed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic Ventures, now offers three styles of garments for use in a variety of procedures, from hip replacements to cath lab procedures.

"It is my philosophical belief that medical providers and hospital institutions are responsible for maintaining patient's personal privacy and dignity," Dr. Levy tells the Post-Bulletin. "It's not right to have our patients so exposed." He says his patients and colleagues have responded to his invention with enthusiasm and gratitude. "Every day I get high-fived, fist-bumped and thanked."

Mayo Clinic began using COVR garments in 2017. Other health care facilities, including Cleveland Clinic and Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, have followed suit, and Dr. Levy believes that list will continue to grow. "Health care is just starting to understand the anxiety felt by patients who fear exposure during a medical or surgical procedure," Dr. Levy tells Thrive Global. "As with all matters involving change, it will take time, but we do believe that we will raise the standard of care within the next 5 years."

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