Wise words from the digital platform of esteemed breast surgeon, author of “Breasts: An Owner’s Manual,” founder of the Pink Lotus Breast Center and the Pink Lotus PowerUp Online Community, and special guest on the October 2nd Today Show segment on flat denial, Dr. Kristi Funk:
“According to Dr. Kristi Funk, breast cancer surgeon and author of the bestselling book, Breasts: The Owner’s Manual, it is unthinkable that a surgeon overrules a patient’s clear directives arrived at after careful consideration. Choosing to live flat causes absolutely no harm and there is no reason for any surgeon to feel conflicted about this operation.
Most plastic surgeons never talk to their patients about opting out of reconstructive surgery. If you feel that your surgeon is resisting your choice to go flat and fabulous and is trying to coerce you into breast reconstruction surgery, don’t try to convince him or her otherwise – find another surgeon. You should not have to feel that you need to defend your choice to live flat. Remember that this is your body and you have the power to choose how you wish to live after breast cancer surgery.”
– Going Flat: Saying No to Breast Reconstruction, PinkLotus.com
Setting aside the fact that so many women aren’t even informed that going flat is a viable option, which is totally unacceptable in itself… I’d like to thank Pink Lotus for publishing this powerful statement. The group of people that will be most instrumental in putting an end to flat denial, is breast surgeons. These are the surgeons that perform most mastectomies, and they are the primary surgical professionals that most breast cancer patients will see during their treatment. It is the breast surgeons who hold the power to inform patients of their surgical options. And it is the breast surgeons who can ensure that patients who say no to reconstruction are given an acceptable flat result – if they do not have the technical skill to perform the closure themselves, they can bring on a plastic surgeon.
Breast surgeons are our allies in this fight. Most would never even consider leaving a patient with an unacceptable mastectomy result. And I’m sure it’s shocking for competent, conscientious professionals to see the “handiwork” of their less skilled and/or less ethical colleagues. The fact is: flat denial is happening. It’s happening all over the US and beyond. It’s happening despite patient’s crystal clear directives, despite patients taking extraordinary self-protective measures like bringing witnesses to consult. And it happens despite patients, like Kim, bringing on a plastic surgeon solely to do a flat closure. Because right now, no one is holding surgeons accountable.
That is changing. As awareness of flat denial spreads, so does the impetus for every conscientious medical professional to speak out and protect patients. Thank you Pink Lotus, for lending your voice.
Together, we WILL put an end to flat denial.