On this page, you will hear from mastectomy patients who made the choice to go flat. Some of them received great aesthetic flat closures, and others did not. The contrast is striking – not just the quality of their closures, but also the impact their experience had on their lives. A poor quality flat closure speak very loudly to patients – it says that our wishes don’t matter. Charen Fegard, a Vermont state legislator who chose to go flat after her own mastectomy, said it so well:
“It’s not about vanity, it’s about dignity.
“Women should determine the outcome of their mastectomy and it should be an outcome they can live with. At the end of the day, when we look at the mirror, we should see our choice reflected back to us – not a violation of our consent.”
Rep. Charen Fegard
Shelly asked to be flat after explanting.
“I have cried off and on since dressing came off. It comes and goes. I feel grossed out when I look at it and disgusted. I guess what I am feeling feels like grief. “
Lonnie: “I had a surgeon that cared.“
“I was one of the lucky ones…I had a surgeon that cared about the cosmetic results. My chest is flat and my scar barely visible. She was a breast cancer surgeon…that’s all she does.”
This previvor had a 36G bust before her mastectomy, with one small revision.
“I am very pleased with my results… It isn’t wise to expect a “perfect” post-mastectomy result (medicine is an imperfect science, and closing a round opening with a linear seam is tricky), but we should be able to expect acceptable results.”
Suzie: deflated after explant
” He made NO ATTEMPT to remove any leftover skin and I look like my tits have just been deflated! … Let’s keep sending this important message to both the surgeons and insurance companies! These results are completely unacceptable!”
Deborah: “Flat women before me paved the way”
” I knew immediately I wanted the whole breast gone, and it was then that I began to Google images of mastectomies. I remember my wife and I looking at image after image as I said, “That’s not too bad”. And that’s why I’m sharing my story. I was able to make an informed decision because other people were brave enough to show their mastectomies on the internet.”
Lisa – “Nothing could have prepared me for what I looked like after surgery”
“And when my surgeon said even if I make you as flat as I can, you can always change your mind later and have reconstruction with implants, I did not understand that he meant I was going to look like the Bride of Frankenstein! … Nothing could have prepared me for what I looked like after surgery and I have gone through a lot of mental anguish over my appearance.”
Wanda – “This should be the norm!“
” I first saw my chest two days after surgery, when I was allowed to take a shower. I took the bandages off, looked, and my first thought was, “I look like a fucking badass!” It was flat! The mermaid [tattoo] would look great there.”
Stephanie – “The last thing I said to him on my way to surgery was, ‘I trust you’”
“I told him that he’d been worried about how I’d feel when I look in the mirror, but that what he DID to me was what was making me feel depressed when I looked in the mirror. He then reiterated the bit about how I’d be “glad to have that” if I “changed my mind”. I stressed that I do NOT want implants, but he just nodded and said condescendingly, “Well, women change their mind.”
Maribeth: “Instantly I awakened to the reality of all that had happened”
“My breast surgeon launched into a discussion on my reconstruction options and set me up with a plastic surgery consult. There was no mention of going flat. (Until I did my own research, I was not even aware that “flat” was an option)! My surgeon spoke of reconstruction as if part of the cancer treatment itself; reconstruction was simply what was done when one undergoes a mastectomy… in my post-surgical haze my surgeon saying, “I left a little extra in case you change your mind down the road…insurance will cover it…”
Louise– “Without seeing me, [my surgeon] has refused to do anything. Disappointed is putting it mildly.”
“I had a single mastectomy in 2018. I knew I didn’t want reconstruction but had fought so hard with my surgeon who wanted to do a lumpectomy, I didn’t have the strength to argue any more. I was just grateful he had, in the end, agreed. When I woke I was horrified with what I could see… Recently I enquired of the same surgeon what options I had for further surgery. Without seeing me, he has refused to do anything. Disappointed is putting it mildly.”
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