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Topic: Going flat ... clothes?

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Feb 12, 2016 09:31PM

azrescue wrote:

Hi. I am months out from my surgery. But will be having a double mastectomy with no reconstruction. My initial instinct is that I will go flat most, if not all the time. I have searched everywhere and can't find pictures or advice of dressing after this. And I don't mean to cover it and hide it. I mean will I be able to dress and feel sexy again? For example wearing a beautiful evening gown for a party? I mean there are plenty of women out there that are just naturally flat and they seem to do ok. Am I missing something? I mean I know that there is going to be an emotional side to it and there will be scars. Just curious.

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Posts 31 - 57 (57 total)

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Apr 18, 2016 06:52PM mustlovepoodles wrote:

Mizzoh, you look great. I can really sympathize with you--I also have a big belly, made worse by the fact that I have no big boobs now. I had a lot of complications with my BMX 2/4/16, which resulted in a huge 6cm seroma on the left (good breast) and a 3.5" x 3" x 2" gash in the right (zombie breast.) Thank God I didn't have traditional recon or implants--I would have lost it all. Those areas are still not healed, nor will they be healed until about mid-May. Foo! Due to the location of my wounds right at the bra line, I cannot wear any kind of bra or cami with a shelf bra. I am still wearing dressings on both breasts, which surprisingly give me a little bit of a mound, LOL. No need for a binder, just gauze and tape.

I just came home from a week-long nursing conference in San Diego. Before I left home I decided that this would be my moment of truth--going flat and wigless in front of a bunch of people I didn't' know and would never see again. If anyone noticed, they didn't say anything. I didn't catch anyone staring and no one said a thing about my 1-1/2" long hair. When I returned to Atlanta, I got pulled out of line after going through the body scanner. Apparently, having bandages strapped to your chest and no bra is a red flag for TSA. As I went through the pat down, the girl zeroed in on my chest. I leaned forward and told her I had bandages on because I had had a BMX recently. She pulled her hands off me like they were on fire, LOL. I bet she'll think twice before she pulls another lady with very, very short hair and no breasts out of line!

Anyway, that's a long way for me to say, I'm getting used to going flat. I guess nobody really cares about a 60 year old lady's boobs. I plan to not make a decision until at least 2017, but if I continue to feel as good as I do now I will strongly consider staying this way.

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/3/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/19/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Apr 18, 2016 08:38PM ksusan wrote:

Ja, darts make life interesting post-BMX.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 18, 2016 09:13PM BarredOwl wrote:

ksusan:

In case that was ambiguous, I was inspired because you look so sharp in your blazer. :)

BarredOwl

Stage IA IDC, 9/2013 BMX. Right: IDC (1.5 mm, grade 2) with DCIS (5+ cm), 0/4 nodes, pN0. Left: DCIS (5+ cm), 0/1 node, pN0(i+).
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Apr 19, 2016 09:26AM ksusan wrote:

Thank you--I wasn't clear; I was agreeing that darts are a challenge. Thank you for the compliment!

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 19, 2016 09:57AM VSB2015 wrote:

I had a BMX with no reconstruction in February. I did get prosthesis but have not worn them at all yet. I prefer going flat. No one notices. My complaint is that when women choose no reconstruction, why can't the surgeon take a little extra care in making the finished product look good. Instead I was told to go to a plastic surgeon. I like prints to camouflage and sweaters but summer is coming and I have to think about tee shirts and tank tops.


Dx 12/23/2015, IDC, Left, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 12/23/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/15/2016 Mastectomy Chemotherapy 4/14/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery
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Apr 19, 2016 10:39AM azrescue wrote:

vsb2015- that is one of my big concerns. I hope that the surgeon & I are very much on the same page. I am hoping for a nice clean scar. Not lots of excess skin left.

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Apr 19, 2016 10:48AM - edited Apr 19, 2016 11:21AM by hsant

This Post was deleted by hsant.
Dx 5/10/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 6/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+, HER2- Surgery 6/10/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 19, 2016 10:54AM ElleD wrote:

My plan is to go flat too...haven't really investigated alot of my clothing because since surgery I have been compressed, and with drains so I have bee wearing the baggy zipper/button down clothing. My plan, however, since deciding to go flat has been to use weights to develop the pecs( like body builders of 80's... see Rachel McLish or Gladys Portagues) and unbutton my blouse one button lower! Getting to the point I cal weight lift seems to be another story. I think darted blouses will be an issue though. For Fall/Winter weather scarfs are supposed to help over sweaters.

ElleD Dx 1/20/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2016 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Apr 19, 2016 10:56AM VSB2015 wrote:

Was just something I never considered before surgery. I had never heard of "dog ears" I just think they could take a couple extra minutes when they close you up to make it lok nice, A few less "points"


Dx 12/23/2015, IDC, Left, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 12/23/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/15/2016 Mastectomy Chemotherapy 4/14/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery
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Apr 19, 2016 11:02AM ElleD wrote:

VSB2015, were you considering recon at time of surgery? Sometimes they leave a little extra if recon is in the future.

ElleD Dx 1/20/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2016 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Apr 19, 2016 11:15AM ElleD wrote:

Love the great pics1 You two look fabulous...very encouraging! Love this forumSmile

ElleD Dx 1/20/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2016 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Apr 19, 2016 09:34PM karen1956 wrote:

I had recon(very small implants) but I'm thinking of deconstructing. I wear cami's or tank tops under my tops. It helps even me out and tops don't stick to me...just a thought....if I do deconstruct, I don't plan on wearing prosthesis, but will proudly go flat. Thanks,

Karen in Denver, Dx 02/03/2006, ILC, stage IIIa, ER/PR+, HER2-,
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Apr 19, 2016 09:52PM glennie19 wrote:

And sometimes they leave excess skin, cuz they think you will change your mind about recon, even when you have firmly told them that you will not, under any circumstances, do recon. I also learned the term, "dog ears" on here.

Fibromyalgia and Truncal Lymphedema,,, some of the fun things I live with. Total hysterecomy 9/29/14 Prophy MX Righty 11/30/17 Dx 6/27/2013, Paget's, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/7/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS
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Apr 25, 2016 04:33PM azrescue wrote:

I already brought up "dog ears" with my surgeon and stressed that I do not want any left. But I will continue to stress this to her. I'm not due for surgery until July/Aug.

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Apr 25, 2016 05:38PM Erica wrote:

Sometimes, breast surgeons will arrange for a plastic surgeon to be present to close up the incisions in a way that avoids lumps, bumps, and dog ears. Especially now that so many women get reconstruction, breast surgeons don't often have to close up after performing mastectomy surgery, so I think a lot of them simply don't have the plastic surgical skills to achieve an ideal result.

BreastFree.org (breastfree.org); BreastFree Blog (breastfree.blogspot.com); Twitter @BreastFree
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Apr 25, 2016 07:04PM hsant wrote:

I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't had surgery yet to show a photo to your surgeon that has your desired results. I also recommend requesting photos from your surgeon of previous patients who've opted out of reconstruction.

Dx 5/10/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 6/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+, HER2- Surgery 6/10/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 30, 2016 03:01PM - edited Apr 30, 2016 03:04PM by Mizzoh

Hey all! Just want to share that I tried foobs at work for the first time, and that's because I got a set of these Knitted Knockers:

http://www.knittedknockers.org

I LOVE them! Soft & light & comfy! I will gl flat most days, I think, but when wearing a dress where how it hangs is impirtant, etc., especially with mah belleh, these are great!

Here's a picture of mine:

I've tried to attach pic like eight times. This interface is not good with iPhones, drat. Oh, well, another day


"I will take the ring, though I do not know the way." Dx 1/6/2016, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/8/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 2/15/2016, IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/14/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Apr 30, 2016 03:02PM Mizzoh wrote:

mustlovepoo: I love your attitude & bravery

"I will take the ring, though I do not know the way." Dx 1/6/2016, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/8/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 2/15/2016, IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/14/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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May 17, 2016 08:18PM tsoebbin wrote:

Many thanks to you all for your posts! I thought i was done with my lumpectomy last week but pathology report says I am not!

So I am scheduling a BMX in the next few weeks and trying to decide about reconstruction. I am very overweight so I am nervous about what I will look like afterwards. Your posts and photos helped a lot. thank you

I am 54 and Love Travel, My Family and Friends, and Life in General! Dx 4/4/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Dx 5/11/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 6/28/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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May 17, 2016 08:39PM Chloesmom wrote:

Flat is where its at. Quick recovery. I try to get Downton Abbey type clothes or things with flap pockets. No one cares and im comfortable. The FB group Flat and Fabulous.org has been my support.

One thing if i had to do it again was get a plastic surgeon at the time of the BMX. My result is a bit lumpy looking. I told him i wanted to look like a 10 year okd boy, so he didnt leave extra skin, but would have wanted smoother scars

No recon - Loving Flat & Free! Oncotype 25 (Note: ILC hides in the shadows- US, Mammo, MRI neg on "good" side but not really good after all!) Dx 11/21/2014, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Surgery 12/12/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 2/3/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 23, 2016 07:52PM Bearhitch wrote:

I will chime in here... sometimes I feel like an oddball because I didn't have to defeat cancer - my BMX was prophylactic and sometimes it feels weird because I "did this to myself." Anyway - I do not ever wear foobs - in fact I never even bothered buying any. I knew that everyone who knows me would know they are fake - so why bother? Well - most people. Unfortunately after having my surgery, other health issues and stress have helped contribute to over 30 lbs of weight gain. That has not helped that my tummy sticks out more with no big boobs to balance it out. I am still working through all of that and trying to lose weight.

As for clothing, I go for prints - basically the opposite of what I did when I had boobs. If you know anyone that sells LuLaRoe clothing, an Irma with leggings is a great look and they are pretty forgiving shirts. The Amelia dress has fantastic shape as well and I feel feminine in. I was always a sweat pants and tee shirt type of gal but I do absolutely love not wearing a bra - probably why I will never do the foob route even though I still battle feeling self-conscience about my new shape.

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Sep 28, 2018 09:37PM ravenclaw_eagle wrote:

Maybe this will help someone -

I have gone flat since my surgery two years ago. Styling was tough at first because the nurses and assistants were pushing the prosthesis option and had zero styling advice for going without. I went from a curvy DD to a pear shaped body. I had to get rid of almost my entire wardrobe and purchase new clothes that accentuated my shoulders and elongated my legs. Jackets, off/cold shoulders, ruffles, long necklaces, patterns, cardigans, and scarfs are my new best friends. I've noticed that solid colors alone without accessories make me look flatter and patterns fool the eyes into seeing shapes. I was never a girly girl but I have become one because that looks best.

The worst: Bathing suits. Ugh. I cried the first summer every time I went into a bathing suit section of a store because they all came with the built in cups. Bathing suit shopping was utterly depressing. I finally started shopping online for suits with no cups and either layers or ruffles. I discovered that there are mastectomy suits out there.

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Oct 9, 2018 01:50PM aisling wrote:

I just saw this swimsuit on sale at Neiman Marcus!

https://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/jets-by-jessika-all...

The brand is probably a good one to look into if one needs a swimsuit to accommodate inserts and I think it's really cute <3

Dx 6/2018, DCIS, Both breasts, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 11, 2018 09:52PM Jaybird627 wrote:

Hi.

Looking for posts of those who started out with expanders/implants but then went without/flat after due to expander/implant complications.

Thanks!

Jaybird. My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope - Ovid. Dx
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Jan 1, 2019 01:49PM Ldrumm65 wrote:

I go flat and also use the prosthetics I have. Going flat is definitely easier. I am slowly figuring out how to dress flat. I, too, am concave as I saw mentioned by someone else. Are there any manufacturers who make a tank or bra that have 100% padding to help me fill in the concaveness for when I wear tight clothing. Thanks

Dx 5/2011, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/10/2011 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/3/2018, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 11/1/2018, ILC, Right, 3cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/1/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Surgery 5/10/2019 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy Breast
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Jan 9, 2019 08:05PM AdiAri_2018 wrote:

Have you tried TLC ? Is an organization for cancer patients in particular breast cancer. It has bandanas, wigs, bras, consoles, implants, etc. I got the catalog from ACS at my closest location.

Dx 5/11/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 2/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 5/22/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jan 9, 2019 08:07PM AdiAri_2018 wrote:

Have you tried TLC ? Is an organization for cancer patients in particular breast cancer. It has bandanas, wigs, bras, consoles, implants, etc. I got the catalog from ACS at my closest location. By the way, I'm having double mastectomy next week. I understand your situation, we are going thru the same path. Hope all is well with you .

Dx 5/11/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 2/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 5/22/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right

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