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Topic: Anyone regret going flat?

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: Aug 23, 2019 10:03AM

StAuggie wrote:

I'm finishing up chemo next month and will have to make a final decision about whether or not to do reconstruction. I'm planning on having both breasts removed. I do not want implants, so I'm choosing between going flat or DIEP fat grafting.

A few weeks ago, I was just fed up with the whole multiple surgery, lengthy recovery idea and just wanted to put cancer behind me, so I decided to just go flat. My concern is how I am going to feel later. I realize that no one can tell me how I'm going to feel about having no breasts, but I don't want to make the decision to go flat and then regret it later; from what I've read, its better to start reconstruction right away or at least leave skin, if they're able to, and then have it later.

If I go flat, I would probably wear some type of prosthetic to give the appearance of having breasts, at least in public. Not sure that I want to mess with the hassle of prosthetics, but in all honesty I don't think I can be comfortable without them in public. I just keep going in circles and haven't been able to come to terms with either option.

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/9/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/29/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Sep 9, 2019 09:11PM Snickersmom wrote:

mustlove - I have found myself questioning going flat, just as you did. I figured at 70, what did I care? But now I wish I had done my research and not turned away from any recon discussions. Had I known about DIEP Flap, I might have done it right away. I hate the thought of more surgeries but am struggling with whether or not I want to stay flat. What made you change your mind about recon?


Dx 3/24/2017, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/2/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 6/11/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 10, 2019 12:26PM Bniebauersmith wrote:

In April, 2019, I had a double mastectomy with no reconstruction. I had chemo first, lumpectomy scheduled for May but stopped at 4 1/2 months due to neuropathy in my fingers. Also, the lump was not shrinking. Decided on double due to risk of another cancer developing in remaing left breast. I was triple negative hormone receptive. No regrets on no reconstruction. My clothes actually fit better now with my "C" prosthesis. I was a "DD" prior to surgery. Could not imagine going through all the skin stretching procedures and surgeries. My husband was and is very supportive of my decision. He's amazing!!!

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Sep 14, 2019 04:36PM I_Spy wrote:

StAuggie: I got implants after my BMX in 2015. They looked good with no complications. I fell and smashed one in April 2018 and have been getting sicker and sicker with autoimmune illness since then. I only realized recently that it might be the implants. I'm going to have them taken out just on the (strong) chance that they are causing my illness.

I wanted to tell you this: You're deciding between going flat and having reconstruction, and you're thinking that one means you "have breasts" and one means you don't. I think you're mistaken in that view. Your breasts are being removed. There is going to be sadness and grieving that you need to allow yourself. Reconstructed foobs (fake boobs) do not feel like breasts. You're completely numb across your chest, for one thing, and also there are dents here and there, you can feel your pec muscle clamp on the implant (they go under the pec muscle normally for safety), and at least for me there are no nipples. Yes, they look good in clothes, but so do stuffed bras. I don't want you to make a decision to go flat and then afterwards feel "sad you have no breasts" and think you made the wrong decision. I wish I hadn't gotten implants now. But at least I can speak from experience for others when I say: "meh, not that great."

I wish you luck in making this difficult decision, but just realize this is not a choice between Disneyland and Six Flags; there is going to be sadness either way, and that's okay. :)

Surgery 9/1/2014 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 9/2/2014, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+ Dx 7/7/2015, LCIS, Left Surgery 7/7/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 10/8/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/26/2019 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Sep 14, 2019 08:18PM - edited Sep 14, 2019 08:28PM by Castigame

This Post was deleted by Castigame.
Mimi Dx 1/11/2017, IDC: Papillary/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/11/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes Surgery 2/15/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/21/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/31/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/30/2017
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Sep 14, 2019 10:10PM - edited Sep 16, 2019 12:42PM by mybee333

I don't know if this will help your decision and I know it's been a couple of weeks...Seven years ago I had reconstruction with an implant on my right side and a smaller implant for symmetry on my left. I was very pleased with how I looked and that's how I progressed through my 50s. So to some extent I would recommend that. Yet I don't think they truly tell us about the risks or how this might progress over time. Interestingly I too had a fall several years ago and landed hard on my implant, and have now developed capsular contracture. I am very concerned that a rupture may have brought this on and have an MRI scheduled. The PS I consulted with is not feeling an exchange is a good idea perhaps in part due to health issues that I have such as fibromyalgia and other autoimmune, nuisance stuff. Although he didn't say that. He just said that repeated exchanges did not make sense to him; maybe my age was a factor too. (I'm 62). I wish I'd asked more questions. Now I'm in a similar situation to you - trying to make a decision - DIEP or flat. Flat seems like the easier route, I've had many surgeries already, but will I regret it He did tell me that I could choose to go flat now and then have a DIEP later. But again that would be more surgery.

Don't wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain. ~ UMX w/ silicone implant reconstruction. Multifocal -IDC, DCIS, Pagets. Dx 4/6/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 15, 2019 05:13PM I_Spy wrote:

MyBee333 Do you associate your autoimmune issues with your implants? My autoimmune issues started after my fall. It was actually pretty rapid, within weeks: first intense itching in right foob, then hives on MX scars, and then systemic pain, fatigue, rashes, on and on. I've only a 1/2 years later figured out it might be the implants.

Sorry to hijack the thread, I just saw that and wanted to ask.

Surgery 9/1/2014 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 9/2/2014, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+ Dx 7/7/2015, LCIS, Left Surgery 7/7/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 10/8/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/26/2019 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Sep 16, 2019 12:50PM mybee333 wrote:

I had some autoimmune issues and fibro prior to my fall but they’ve gotten much worse since about 1-2 years after reconstruction (7 yrs ago). Everything was manageable before BC. My fatigue is pretty bad and I’ve gained 45 lbs since I got these implants. Since the fall I think I’m more fatigued and the exercise (and dating) I was doing at that time I no longer do; My energy goes to housework and working. I just don’t know what’s going on although I do have many symptoms of Bii but there’s also pre-existing stuff. The anti-hormonals were hard on me too. It’s just hard to tell what’s happened but I’m in a downward spiral for sure.

Don't wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain. ~ UMX w/ silicone implant reconstruction. Multifocal -IDC, DCIS, Pagets. Dx 4/6/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 1, 2019 02:02PM I_Spy wrote:

I understand (sorry for the delay in answering I'd gotten out of the habit of looking here!). I wonder if we all have had some pre-existing situation that makes us more prone to having a reaction to the silicone? Hard to say. I'm researching surgeons but I've practically decided they're coming out.

Surgery 9/1/2014 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 9/2/2014, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+ Dx 7/7/2015, LCIS, Left Surgery 7/7/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 10/8/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/26/2019 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Oct 1, 2019 03:34PM Maisydaisy wrote:

I have no regret going flat either. I am not showing my body to all people anyway so I am not worried about that. I was diagnosed last year and had surgery in September. I had single mastectomy left. I was given Arimidex for few months. Then I asked my oncologist to change it for I am having joint pain in my middle left finger. It's painful to fold. Now I am on Tamoxifen 20 mg. for few months now. My problem with it is I am having bad hot flashes. So I am thinking of cutting the dose to 1/2. I am 70 years old and my body does not produce lots of hormones to control. Since I am HR+ my oncologist is trying to control my body from producing hormones, hence the effect of hot flashes. I think the dose is too much for me for I am menopause for more than 20 years now. What do you guys think of my decision to cut my dosage in half?

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Oct 1, 2019 11:52PM KLiz wrote:

StAuggie... Did you decide yet? Only wondering bc I'm in the same spot... Deciding to be flat or get implants (the tissue diep surgeries sound like too much for me, super risky & I don't want my abdomen messed with). I've gone back & forth for about a week. I need to decide before they schedule my surgery. I'm doing BMX.

This is hard. It's hard to know how you'll feel in the future... I'm 45. First thought I'd get reconstruction, because of course! But.... Now not so sure. And wondering how I'd feel, being flat. I gotta decide this week. Arg.


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Oct 16, 2019 12:10AM Confused516 wrote:

glad I found this site, having sleepless nights on what to do. BRAC + with stage 0 BC so we caught it early. But having the gene both OBGYN and Surgeon suggested a double mastectomy with reconstruction. The thought of putting a foreign object in me, all the extra surgeries for reconstruction, complications that I read about is freaking me out and I have a lot of anxiety to begin with. I have no idea what to do. I would love to go flat but am freaked out about that option also.

I am 50 and do not have large breasts (B cup) so is reconstruction worth it! Found some inserts on Athleta that are getting great reviews and feel I could just wear those. Have appt with plastic surgeon tomorrow to see what they present to me.


thanks for listening.

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Oct 16, 2019 12:21AM Yogatyme wrote:

Confused, I went flat after my bilateral mastectomy on 8/13/19 and have not had any regrets to date. I love not having to wear a bra and when I want more curves I wear a bralet with “knitted knockers” (they are knitted prosthesis made by volunteers and are super soft, light and not hot). I actually have a sense of freedom which surprised me. I, too, am BRCA1+ and my tumor was found early. I am 68 and did not want another surgery, so opted for no reconstruction. It’s a completely personal decision and everyone has to decide what is right for them. I really didn’t struggle w my decision, but I know many women do, understandably. Good luck with your decision making. While getting a dx of bc is always scary, I’m so glad you found yours so early

Yogatyme Surgery 3/2/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/12/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 16, 2019 12:40AM Confused516 wrote:

Thank you Yogatyme!

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Oct 17, 2019 01:59PM StAuggie wrote:

Kliz, I didn't see your post until today. Sorry!

So I am scheduled for BMX on Oct. 29, with immediate reconstruction and tissue expanders. I am opting to go with implants. I'm 50 years old.

I have wrestled with this flat vs reconstruction debate within myself for months; I finally had to admit that as much as it is appealing to go flat, I acknowledged that my emotions were not at all reconciled with this. I was going to pursue DIEP, but I could not find a PS that did DIEP nearby that was in-network with my insurance. I'm sure that if I pursued it, I could find one and travel to them. However...I really like my breast surgeon--I feel like she is just the best one for me--and I don't want to change my breast surgeon to another one closer to a DIEP surgeon.

I know that I could have the BMX here, take time to heal, and then go get the DIEP...I don't want two major surgeries like that, and then to have to travel to all the follow-up appointments.

So, I felt that for me, my choices were to go flat or go with implants. I am not ready to go without at least some form of having breasts. I do have reservations with implants; especially after reading about the Breast Implant Illness possibilities. But there are millions and millions of women who are happy with their implants, so I decided to go that route. I feel like, emotionally, I need to give that a try. I am hoping that it works well for me.

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/9/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/29/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Oct 17, 2019 10:30PM alto wrote:

That's great, StAuggie. It sounds like you've found peace with your decision.

Confused516, I really struggled with my decision, too. Seeing the plastic surgeon and having more information about what I could expect on each path helped me. I hope more information helps you land on a path you feel comfortable with.

Diagnosed at 42. Had symptoms of Paget's for years prior to positive biopsy. No Tamox because low% ER. Dx 11/2/2018, Paget's, Right, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 11/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 11/29/2018, DCIS/Paget's, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/19/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 12/21/2018, DCIS, Right, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 1/16/2019 Mastectomy: Right
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Oct 18, 2019 07:28AM - edited Oct 18, 2019 07:28AM by Confused516

StAuggie thank you for the post, good luck with your surgery!

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Oct 18, 2019 01:50PM StAuggie wrote:

I appreciate everyone's input so much. I read each post, going back and forth to each choice. It truly is such an individual decision, and often it seems like a difficult one for more than just me.

I had my pre-op with the PS nurse, and that went well. I was dreading the photos, but the nurse was so kind that it was okay. I am dreading the surgery--both the mastectomy and reconstruction; I usually keep a pretty tight rein on myself, but I have been very emotional for a few weeks now. For me, it is horrible to think of being laid out on a gurney, while they cut my breasts open, scoop out the tissue--like carving a pumpkin lol!!! and then make new ones. With no nipples. OY VEY.

So many people in there seeing me naked. UGH....I truly hate that. I'm such a private person. The realities of all of this has shifted from future to present, and it's staring me in the face now. I know I'll survive, and be okay. And in about six months so much of this will all be behind me. I have to focus on that, I guess.

On a good note, I told the PS that as long as I look normal in a bra I'm good...he said, you won't need to wear a bra. This is slightly scandalous to me lol but I guess perky breasts are going to be a silver lining for me.

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/9/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/29/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Oct 18, 2019 02:15PM mightlybird01 wrote:

StAuggie, I had to make the same difficult decision, and decided for unilateral mastectomy without reconstructions (I have small breasts, A cups). I just wanted to let you know, without having first hand experience yet to share (my surgery will be Nov 8th) if you really just want to look normal in a bra, you could very likely achieve that with a bra and a breastform in it. That's what my plan is at least. I have a friend who has that procedure done 20 years ago, and never regretted it. She just wears a bra with a breast form in if she wants to look "normal".

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC/IDC: Medullary, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/21/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/7/2019 Mastectomy: Right
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Oct 19, 2019 08:45AM helenlouise wrote:

It really is hard to decide. I really did not want to lose my breasts. Who does? I went BMX. I cried the day of the surgery but felt a big relief when it was done. I did not want the additional surgeries required for reconstruction plus I thought my chance of recurrence was high so I am flat. I was a D cup and now wear a Lorna Jane pammy bra. Which has a small insert. It gives me just a tad of shape and without it I am truly flat. I don’t regret my decision and I do not regret having both breasts removed. As I have had radiation and then a recurrence, I would not have been able to wear a prosthesis on my effected side for many months had I gone UMX. I miss my breasts but did not want to chance a rapid spread if I did not have surgery.

It’s a terribly hard thing to decide when you don’t want to do it at all. So all you can do is consider the options, consider your preferences and needs and your decision will be right.

Dx 1/2013, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/3/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 2/10/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/1/2013 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/25/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/23/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 8/27/2018 Chemotherapy 8/28/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 4/2/2019, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 4/16/2019, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (DUAL) Dx 3/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to other, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (DUAL) Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 3/19/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/19/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Oct 20, 2019 07:28AM Confused516 wrote:

still struggling with this decision, flat, reconstruction or lumpectomy with radiation. Tremendous fears with all of them!

I really don’t want implants they scare me and I don’t want to have additional surgery want this over with! But can I live being flat, I think so I am a B cup wear coobie bras all the time and do not wear clothing to show off breasts anyways- only concern is bathing suit.


lumpectomy with radiation- radiation side effects and fear it comes back.


Flat - well just that Flat! Fear husband will hate it but he says he loves me for who I am not my breasts snd wants me to be healthy and here for him and kids.

sleepless nights, waves of panic, crying out bursts! Dec 16 is surgery not sure I will make it to then!

Pictures of people who went flat in clothes with bra inserts ( not prosthetics just little inserts like theAthleta ones would be helpful)

https://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=372047#pdp-page-content

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Oct 20, 2019 07:49AM helenlouise wrote:

hang in confused. It is a verydifficult decision. Maybe get out the old pen and paper and work up which option has the most positives or the most negatives. Keep talking to us, if you find it helpful.

Dx 1/2013, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/3/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 2/10/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/1/2013 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/25/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/23/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 8/27/2018 Chemotherapy 8/28/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 4/2/2019, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 4/16/2019, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (DUAL) Dx 3/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to other, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (DUAL) Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 3/19/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/19/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Oct 20, 2019 08:07AM Confused516 wrote:

HeleneLouise I did the pen and paper the other day, when I think I know clear cut decision I freak out and change my mind again and come up with reasons why that choice is bad and maybe go different route. I just flat out do not like any option (the option I want can’t have plastic surgeon said not candidate for using my own tissue which seems weird as I am 5’8 150 lbs)

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Oct 20, 2019 02:44PM trinigirl50 wrote:

Seems odd you can't use your own tissue. It may be you dont have enough? Get a second opinion from a Breast surgeon specialist is you can. The breast reconstruction centre in new Orleans do all kinds of reconstruction (check out their website). But that does involve more surgery.

I have silicone implants with some fat grafting. It was not a big deal surgery wise. Recovery was quick. But they dont feel real of course. What is it about implants that scares you?

trinigirl50 Dx 3/7/2015, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 20/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/7/2015 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/13/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 21, 2019 12:11AM Yogatyme wrote:

confused, my sister is having the surgery you want and her PS told her he could probably give her B cup at best. She is 5’9” & 190#, so it may very well be that you do not have enough tissue. Consulting other PS’s might give you more information to help w your decision.

Yogatyme Surgery 3/2/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/12/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 22, 2019 02:41PM StAuggie wrote:

I'm sorry, Confused...I was right where you are. I know how hard it is, and what it's like to keep bouncing back and forth among all the options...none of which we really want, because if it were our choice we never would have had cancer, and never needed surgery. It's hard to choose something you never wanted at all. Hugs.

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/9/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/29/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Oct 23, 2019 01:51AM akmom wrote:

I am 64 years old, have been living flat for over a year now and have never regretted my decision. I have only worn my prosthetic breasts a few times; in fact my biggest regret to date has been buying them in the first place because they aren't getting much use. (I opted not to have reconstruction because I didn't want additional surgery that would prolong recovery time and increase the possibility of post surgical complications, and didn't want implants because I don't like the idea of a foreign material in my body.)

Something I would like to mention in case anyone is wondering about this. I expected people would stare and possibly ask questions about my flat chest. In fact I have never noticed a single person looking, and certainly nobody has said anything to me. Also, I use a small cushion between my chest and guitar, and a couple of people in the groups I play with have asked what the pillow is for. They were visibly surprised when I explained it was just to provide some padding since there is just skin and bone in that area now. (One person was actually embarrassed that he hadn't noticed, said he was a retired doctor :).

Wearing patterned clothing, not too tight, and especially adding a scarf or vest, seems to make the flat chest less noticeable. Personally I don't find the prosthetics that comfortable and am much happier just going without (and love not wearing a bra).

One more thing, even if you plan on no reconstruction you may want to consider a consult with a plastic surgeon before your surgery. I didn't bother, since I knew I didn't want reconstruction, but now am going to a plastic surgeon for some "scar repair" surgery as I have some loose skin and one side and a 'dog ear' under one arm. This may have been unnecessary if the plastic surgeon had been on hand to finish up after the breast surgeon performed the BMX, who knows?

Hope this helps.


Surgery 2/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/24/2012, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Radiation Therapy 4/9/2012 Whole-breast Dx 8/14/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/14/2018, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Surgery 8/14/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 9/10/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 23, 2019 02:42AM naalehunet wrote:

From reading many comments on BCO, I could see how indecision could make it more emotionally painful. After thinking about it, my husband and I earl on decided to go flat and have never doubted this decision. I am so happy to have it all over, with drains out and no longer in pain. For me, flat with no reconstruction is definitely the right decision. And I have a bit of cleavage left so no one will notice I am now flat. Plus I bought some cute Junior size blouses that make even old flat chests look nice.

My granddaughter in her mid-twenties is flat-chested by nature and her wardrobe inspired my new clothing choices and made me brave about going flat.

Dx 8/8/2019, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/10/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 11/11/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 26, 2019 03:12AM Rachipie wrote:

Hi hun.

I'm flat and happy! I can wear all those sexy off shoulder and backless fashions. Jackets scarves, chunky necklaces, deep V necks.

I threw away all my bras and have no regrets. Not to mention that I work in an image driven career where everybody else seemed so concerned for me to have no more breasts.

Mammary lumps on my chest do not define me as a woman. I'm still the vivacious , cheerful, confidant and feminine woman that I always was. I'm 4 weeks out after full double mastectomy and back to work standing tall with a confident smile and lovely clothes.

Always follow your heart on what makes you comfortable, but for me, the idea of prosthesis seemed unnatural. I was flat as a young girl and now here I am- flat again and I don't even miss my nipples. It feels so good to let my body heal with nothing foreign in a traumatized place. The scars are still tender and I don't want anything pressing on them. I'm way past the chapter of stuffing bras in life and it's been very rewarding to hear those same people tell me that I look just as beautiful as I always did and still "look like yourself". Which is saying something since I had DD implants for 20 years before diagnosis.

Beauty comes from within. It's in your eyes, your smile, and your countenance.

Sending you love and hugs, I hope you feel as good as I do after your mastectomy.

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Nov 2, 2019 01:57PM I_Spy wrote:

Can I just throw another important distinction in here? I had a BMX with implants in 2015. I fell a year ago and I believe my implant has leaked, and I have gotten SO SICK with autoimmune illness, immediately after the fall, that I'm permanently disabled and on disability. I am having the implants removed on December 11th in the hopes I can get my life back.

Here is the important distinction: if you get implants you are STILL LOSING YOUR BREASTS. Implants are not breasts. Your chest will be completely numb. You won't have nipples (well, you shouldn't: don't go through a BMX and leave breast cells behind to grow cancer in the nipples). Looking at yourself naked you will see that you have no breasts, and so will everyone else that sees you naked. They just look good in clothes. You know what else looks good in clothes? Gel inserts.

It is such a hard decision and I feel my PS talked me into reconstruction, giving me some statistic that women do better or something after surgery if they have reconstruction. Well, my life is RUINED. IT IS OVER. I literally might as well have died of breast cancer. I can't leave my house, I have to rely on family support, I have no social life, I can barely do any household chores. I couldn't get a boyfriend even though I'm still relatively young and pretty, because I have no energy to do anything but lie in bed, take my drugs, and cry in pain. And now I have to have major surgery while I'm this sick to remove these implants and hope I get my life back.

It is a personal decision and I don't judge anyone no matter what their choice. Just really take what I'm saying to heart: you are losing your breasts. Implants won't change that.

Surgery 9/1/2014 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 9/2/2014, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+ Dx 7/7/2015, LCIS, Left Surgery 7/7/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 10/8/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/26/2019 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)

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