We were so happy to be able to exhibit at the annual meeting of the The American Society of Breast Surgeons representing the FLAT patient voice! Here’s an update on how the conference went and what we learned to help focus our future advocacy efforts.
We were too busy talking with the surgeons to get very many photos!
What We Learned. We had a really great turnout and response from the surgeons attending the conference. Most of the surgeons who stop at our booth were interested in in-depth discussion about the topic, and many requested CME training resources so they can learn more about aesthetic flat closure technique. We also learned that last year, ASBRS added AFC technique to their annual pre-meeting oncoplastic training course! That means that surgeons attending the meeting can access that training there!
Thanks to our friend Jessica Pearce (@sobercancerwarrior on Instagram), we had a handy QR code linked to a form so attendees were able to simply scan the code and then fill out a quick form so we have information about who visited our booth and who we can follow up with (sending brochures, updates, etc.) We were surprised how many surgeons were already familiar with the term aesthetic flat closure – we would say it was over 75%. And the majority also reported that they have seen an increase in the number of patients going flat in their practice.
Interestingly, there was a research poster presented at the conference which looked at the rate of going flat over time *since the FLAT movement kicked off in earnest in 2016*, and it looks like after two decades of increasing, reconstruction rates have plateaued. So there’s a chance that was in part due to flat advocacy! Fascinating!
Dr. Attai’s Talk on AFC. Dr. Deanna Attai knocked it out of the park with her talk on aesthetic flat closure entitled, “Going Flat: Aesthetic Closures.” She covered her researched published last year, discussed flat denial, and gave an overview of AFC surgical technique. Thanks to Dr. Sangeetha Kolluri for the photos of the talk!
My Choice Brochures. We got some great feedback about the new My Choice brochure, which was specifically designed for clinics. Almost all of the surgeons visiting our booth took brochures back to their clinic to give to their patients who are considering going flat, and many signed up to receive additional brochures.
Directory Surgeons. We met dozens of surgeons listed on our Flat Friendly Surgeons Directory, many of whom were also presenting their research at the conference.
AFC Testimonials VIDEO. The beautiful, powerful video put together by videographer Cassi Glisper and producer/editor Stacey Sigman (Flat Retreat Community) was an invaluable tool for engagement throughout the conference. It really made our booth stand out, and drew attendees to the booth so we could talk them about the issue in depth.
Renee Ridgeley / Dr. Wendy Sage. Actor, writer and flat advocate Renee Ridgley was at the booth with NPOAS leadership as well, and was interviewed on local television and on a local podcast about her one breasted Simpson’s character Dr. Wendy Sage!
Flat Retreat – Las Vegas. The amazing women at www.FlatRetreat.org organized an in-person retreat for women in the flat community to attend at a host house in Las Vegas near by the convention, and hosted a dinner for NPOAS to update on the conference. Community is healing, and NPOAS is grateful to Flat Retreat for their unwavering support!
All in all, we were overwhelmed by how fruitful our attendance at #ASBRS2022 was and we look forward to exhibiting again at future meetings!