“Aesthetic Flat Closure: Know Your Options” – SHARE Cancer Support Webinar

Aesthetic flat closure advocacy SHARE Kim Bowles Jersi Baker Dr. Yara Robertson

All about aesthetic flat closure – a webinar brought to you by SHARE Cancer Support! Panel includes Dr. Yara Robertson and Kimberly Bowles of NPOAS, and Jersi Baker of Angel in Disguise Inc.

SELECTED TRANSCRIPT (more to come): “Let’s talk about what aesthetic flat closure means. For me, it was just the way you did a mastectomy. Now I want people to know that people aren’t trained [in] that in general surgery. When I went through general surgery training, we were blessed with a breast surgical oncology fellowship at our institution, so the third year residents would rotate with the breast service for about two and a half months. So on that service, you learned how to do mastectomies, lumpectomies – it depended on what surgeon you were with, with how well they closed the chest wall. And most of our women did get reconstructions. So, when I became a fellow, the surgeons that I worked with trained us [but] it’s not a formal technique that you do.

“Being cognizant of how much tissue you have left on that patient – what we call medially and laterally, medially means closer to the sternum or the breast bone, and laterally is near the axilla or under the arm – so if you look at some women who have had mastectomies without reconstruction (or they’ve had the implants removed), sometimes you’ll see tissue left near the sternum. It looks like a dog ear – we call it a dog ear. Or you’ll see a lot of tissue – we call it “redundant tissue” – where the tissue kind of billows out, or kind of sinks in, especially after an implant has been removed. And so if you want to wear a prosthesis after you’ve had the implant removed, it’s not going to fit very well against a chest wall with all that excess skin, plus it will become irritated. And then a lot of ladies will complain of under the arm with all that fatty tissue, it’s hard to put the arm down, it’s unsightly, it doesn’t fit into your post-mastectomy bra very well. So it’s having an aesthetic eye, to understand that that tissue needs to go.”

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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