Lori’s Story: I Chose AFC for Quality of Life


Lori leads an active lifestyle and chose to go flat ten years ago, before “aesthetic flat closure” was on the books. Her surgeon pushed back because of her age, but ultimately respected her wishes, and Lori is happy with her choice.


I chose aesthetic flat closure 10 years ago before it had a name. I had read about what to expect if I reconstructed, and asked my surgeon questions for an hour prior to making that decision. After our discussion, I told her I wanted to be flat with symmetrical scars. She thought I was too young (46), but was willing to do as I requested. She was impressed with how quickly I healed. She caught me riding my bike the day after surgery on our local trail and asked me if I thought it wise. I laughed and told her I had great balance and exercise promoted healing, to which she couldn’t argue. I was able to get my drain tubes out 4 days after surgery and the skin had already attached to the tubes, as that hole really wanted to close.

I chose to be flat for many reasons, but primarily quality of life.

I chose to be flat for many reasons, but primarily quality of life. I didn’t want reconstruction to mess with my passions by messing with muscles used for golfing and kayaking. I also didn’t want tattooing every few years or having to redo construction every 10 years or so, (which they knew even back then). I had read stories of implants gone bad, and couldn’t understand why more women weren’t choosing the healthiest option. I remember sitting around a campfire having to explain to several friends why I was making that choice, and none of them could understand. Society sends us a different message which makes this decision difficult for some people.

I am thankful that my surgeon took the time to answer all my questions, so I could arrive at the decision that was right for me. I was able to return to the activities I love at the same level within a week. My husband has always been my biggest supporter, and didn’t want me to suffer endless surgeries just so I could have artificial breasts. My old friends accept me as I am. I usually end up saying something about it to new friends and they always say they didn’t even notice.

I wanted to be an advocate for going flat with the cancer society. They had a group of volunteers that talked to women facing those decisions, but 10 years ago that was a message they didn’t want to send. I am thankful there are groups like this one getting the word out to women.


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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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