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Topic: Are you satisfied with the flat closure you got?

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: Jul 8, 2020 02:05PM

Maisie1780 wrote:

I will be having a bilateral MX on July 28th. No reconstruction -- just want the best possible flat closure. I have a lot of confidence in my surgeon as an oncologic surgeon. But this will be done in a teaching hospital and I know there is a high probability that there will be a resident involved in my surgery. (In fact, when I had a lumpectomy in May, I became awake during the surgery and found that my suturing was being done by a resident.) I did broach the subject in the pre-op for the upcoming surgery. My surgeon said that yes, sometimes she has help, but she takes responsibility for the quality of the entire procedure. I know I have no ultimate control over what will happen. I also know that it is common during a bilateral MX for the oncologic surgeon to work on the breast that has cancer and (to quote someone from these boards) on the other breast, "someone gets to practice." I talked to my daughter-in-law physician about this and she confirmed that yes, this is a common practice. So, what, if anything, can I do to improve my chances of getting a very good and symmetrical incision? Are your two sides matching and are you happy with your closure?

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Jul 8, 2020 02:53PM Beesy_The_Other_One wrote:

Maisie,

The short answer to your question is no. I'm not happy with my closure, despite having brought in photos of what I wanted. They make women into men now, so a cosmetically attractive closure is not too much to ask! On the plus side, I am still happy with the amount of surgery I had and I recovered very quickly (turns out that an "amputation" is a pretty easy surgery). I am also grateful to be alive with no evidence of disease. I had great treatment, but the surgery outcome was less positive.

Just this week I learned on another thread about the term "aesthetic flat closure"--you want to ask for that procedure by name. I brought photos but apparently my plastic surgeon (supposedly the best at MD Anderson in Houston) did not interpret my presentation of the photos as a specific enough description. Here's the thread where it was discussed: aesthetic flat closure.

During the discussion on that thread, I did a search of the term aesthetic flat closure and this site came up: not putting on a shirt. The ladies who started this site have a more "activist" attitude than I do, but I appreciate why they feel the way they do. Right before Covid joined us, I had done research and found one of those "makeover your body" type of plastic surgeon to discuss a surgical revision because I'm far enough out of radiation that it might be possible now. I'm very unexcited about the prospect but apparently my original plastic surgeon did not believe me that I would not change my mind when she left enough skin to do reconstruction.

I would be happy to send you photos of my chest by PM if it would help you to tell your surgeon what you DON'T want. To your comment about having a resident do "one side," I know for certain it was the case for me. If I sent you a photo, it would be apparent to you that two people did the work. I wear prosthetics daily and do not find them burdensome, though it took awhile before my incisions were not too sensitive to wear them--and look just as I did before in my clothing. I'm happy to answer other questions if I can help in any way. Wishing you the very best!



1997: Phyllodes, R breast. 2018: IDC, L breast. TCHP, BMX, Radiation, Nerlynx. Dx 8/20/2018, IDC, Left, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC)

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