Guest Blog: At the Intersection of My Flat Chest and an Antiquated System of Care

by Melissa Eppard

Melissa Eppard is a certified Life Coach, writer, and breast cancer thriver. Today she’s speaking with us about women’s health, women’s autonomy, explant, and flat closure.


Women everywhere are calling for the standard of surgical breast cancer options to shift and include flat closure. We’re finally positioned culturally and historically to demand autonomy over our health care choices, and how we express our ideas of what is truly healthy and beautiful for ourselves.

Melissa after her explant (removal of breast implants and scar capsules) and flat closure with the technique described here.

Breast cancer has become ground zero, where the intersection of popular culture—music, media and fashion, meets medical device manufacturing, the health and beauty industry, the world of plastics, and what women want for themselves in terms of comfort, health and functionality. We are taking ownership in self-determination, both in our surgical outcomes and self-image, redefining the currency of what makes a woman beautiful. 

We are now poised at this powerful juncture with more women in leadership roles in business and politics than ever before, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, with the surge of the collective feminine voice reaching into every cultural corner. We are gymnasts and yoga teachers, nurses and gardeners, congresswomen and doctors. We are carpenters and professors, actors and MMA fighters, engineers and activists, and so much more. 

“We’re finally positioned culturally and historically to demand autonomy over our health care choices.”

Melissa Eppard

We want the least amount of surgical down time, no extra revisions required, and none of the complications or harmful side effects from breast implants. We want surgeons who make us flat when we ask them to, without scare tactics or chauvinistic comments, wondering how we’ll manage to fill out a swimsuit. We want the truth about breast implants, in plain language, and flat closure to be offered as a valid option from the time of that very first consult. 

We want to be visible to each other and to the world. We are not broken. We are beautiful and strong and whole, and a force to be reckoned with. It is time our health care policies and patient care reflected the evolving needs and demands of 21st century women. 


Melissa Eppard is a certified Life Coach, writer, and breast cancer thriver. She uses her personal and professional experiences to help women get their sexy back after cancer so they can move forward with less fear, make peace with their bodies and reclaim the fullness of life. She uses guided visualization, mindfulness tools, embodiment practices, and EFT Tapping to empower her clients. She lives and works in Kingston, NY and offers long distance sessions as well. 


Disclaimer: Any and all information published by Not Putting on a Shirt (NPOAS) on behalf of a third party is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for medical or legal advice from a licensed professional. Views expressed and claims made by third parties do not necessarily represent the views of NPOAS.


Published by Not Putting on a Shirt

Founder of Not Putting on a Shirt, a mastectomy patients' rights organization that advocates for optimal surgical outcomes for patients going flat.

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