helping you understand your surgical options
After a mastectomy, you may choose to not replace the breast that was removed (living asymmetrical) and after a double mastectomy, you may decide not to replace both breasts and instead decide to “live flat”. After breast surgery, deciding whether or not to have reconstruction is a personal choice and it is important to know that choosing to live flat or asymmetrical is as valid an option as choosing to have breast reconstruction. Below we provide some considerations when deciding whether to live flat or asymmetrical.
There are many reasons and things to consider when decided to opt out of reconstruction. Some reasons to live flat or asymmetrical include, but are not limited to:
You may have concerns about how living flat or asymmetrical may affect intimacy. Here are some things you may need to adapt or try, following having no reconstruction:
Living flat or asymmetrical may also impact your everyday and overall aesthetic. BreastFree gives the following tips on dressing in a way to draw attention away from your chest area:
If you are considering or have decided to opt out of reconstruction, it’s important to make this clear to your surgeon. While discussing your options, here are some questions/topics to speak to your surgeon about to ensure that you are both on the same page:
After choosing to not have breast reconstruction, there are still various options available to you:
“I love being able to go flat, to lie on my stomach at night, to jog without bouncing, no hot boobs in the summer. I don't mind the scars, because to me it's like looking at an old, interesting gnarled and knotted tree. It shows life and strength and survival. Honestly, being flat is better than the original issue!”
“To be honest, I have never regretted not having done reconstruction or just having one breast removed. I love not having to wear a bra!!!! No under boob sweat when you exercise, and I pretty much wear tank tops year-round. I have various prosthesis forms that I could wear if I wanted to but honestly never do. When I try to wear them now, it feels very foreign to me having breasts. I was lucky enough to get a chest tattoo done a few years ago through the Project Pink’d organization with a fantastic artist named Sam R on Vancouver Island. She did an amazing job creating my tattoo from my original idea.