Frequently Asked Questions


I’ve just been diagnosed and I want to learn more about what it’s like to live flat. Where do I start?

We recommend joining a Facebook support group so you can ask specific questions to a group of women who have been through breast cancer diagnosis and surgery, and can offer personalized support. Some options are Fierce Flat Forward, Breastless & Beautiful, Fabulously Flat, and Flat & Fabulous. You can also watch the Flat is Beautiful video, and read all about going flat on our Going Flat at Mastectomy page, and you can find more resources from there.

What is “flat closure?”

Flat closure is reconstruction of a smooth chest wall contour post-mastectomy. It involves careful removal of any excess tissue remaining after excision of the glandular tissue, and contouring of the remaining tissues to produce a smooth contour. (Learn more.)

What is “flat denial?”

Flat denial is when a surgeon’s unilateral actions deny their patient the agreed upon flat mastectomy result – either through negligence or intentional disregard. The patient is left with an egregiously poor cosmetic result with significant excess tissue that can only be remedied with additional surgery. Flat denial is a violation of the patient’s bodily autonomy.

I think I’m a victim of flat denial. What should I do?

You’re not alone, and this is not your fault. You can read about flat denial and how to navigate the aftermath on our webpage for victims, and you can join the Facebook support group I Wanted to Be FLAT to get support from a community of women who have been through flat denial. You can also contact NPOAS directly at info@notputtingonashirt.org.

How do I find a flat friendly surgeon?

You can search for a local flat closure surgeon using our Flat Friendly Surgeons Directory.

There are no Directory surgeons in my area. What do I do next?

If you are not able to find a suitable flat closure surgeon using our Directory, you have options. You can search for an integrated breast center or a hospital with an oncoplastic breast surgery program. You can also search for dual specialty (breast surgical oncology and plastics) surgeons or surgeons who specialize in gender confirmation surgery. Learn more.

If you have few or no options available to you, you will want to vet your surgeon carefully. We recommend printing out one of our publications to use for this purpose. For a general surgeon who has no experience with flat closure at all, we recommend this handout. And please contact us if you need assistance – we are here to help!

My breast implants are making me sick and I want them out and to just go flat. Where do I start?

We recommend joining the Facebook support group Fierce Flat Forward so you can ask specific questions to a group of women who have been through explant surgery and can offer personalized support and direct you to additional resources. You can visit the Healing Breast Implant Illness and Breast Implant Illness websites to learn more about breast implant illness as well (Note: NPOAS is not affiliated with HBII or BII). You can also visit our webpage for explant resources and details about going flat after explant.

How do I recommend my surgeon?

You can recommend your flat closure surgeon by using our easy online form or by contacting us by email to info@notputtingonashirt.org.

How can I share my own mastectomy story with NPOAS?

We would love to hear your story! Email us directly at info@notputtingonashirt.org or use our contact form.

I don’t see my question here.

We are here to help! Please ask your question directly by emailing us at info@notputtingonashirt.org or by using our contact form.


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Not Putting on a Shirt
P.O. Box #111215
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
USA

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