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Jul 6, 2020 09:10AM
We now have a new word for 'flat' and an NCI dictionary reference to boot.
The word, 'reconstruction', as we now know it, implies 'breast mound' surgery. Prior to this moment, choosing 'flat' could easily be confused with 'skin sparing mastectomy'. But now, with the NCI's clarity, it also includes, 'aesthetic flat closure'. At one point, no one knew what a Diep Flap surgery was, but we learned about it and incorporated the idea into our lexicon, just as we are doing this this new term.
Those who choose 'flat', are NOT choosing skin sparing procedures, nor breast mound surgeries, but they are asking for an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Choosing 'aesthetic flat closure' has nothing to do with whether you have chosen unilateral of bilateral 'aesthetic flat closure'. Under the WHCRA, anyone who needs 'reconstruction' can choose to have surgery to their contralateral breast for reasons of symmetry, or not. But when flat is not acknowledged as 'reconstruction', skin sparing surgeries, paternalism and lack of skill, can and does run rampant.
My insurance refused to pay for my surgery because they deemed my contralateral choice of symmetry unnecessary. 20K
People who choose flat need doctors and insurance companies to up their game, gain skills and loose their bias to breast mound surgery. Once this occurs, we can discuss financial parity for those doctors who work to increase their skill and listen to the needs of the women who choose flat closure.
I do not want to define my choice as 'no reconstruction', because my body was most certainly 'reconstructed'. Names are important. Definition is important.
I do understand that not all people who choose 'aesthetic flat closure', 'go flat'. We have options! We can wear any size prosthetic we want. We can forgo their use at home. We can 'go flat' on the daily. 'Going Flat' is a colloquialism.