My Body, My Choice: Aesthetic Flat Closure After Mastectomy

Our Bodies Ourselves published our guest post about aesthetic flat closure!

Thanks to Our Bodies Ourselves for helping spread the word about aesthetic flat closure! This pioneering organization has worked to promote women’s health and bodily autonomy for decades. Every woman facing mastectomy deserves full and fair disclosure of all of her reconstructive options, and for her choice to be respected.

One of the questions we ask is “Why?” Why do so many women end up looking far different than they expected?

We believe these outcomes are the direct result of decades of unclear language, unchecked paternalism and protectionism, and medical training which reinforces the myth that women cannot be “whole” without breasts.

One problem is that “flat” is an ambiguous term. To address this, flat advocates have been fighting to get official recognition of flat closure as a reconstructive choice deserving of the same respect and consideration as breast mound reconstruction.

Finally, institutions are starting to listen. Recently, as a result of our efforts at Not Putting on a Shirt, the National Cancer Institute added the term “aesthetic flat closure” to its official Dictionary of Cancer Terms, defining it as a reconstructive and aesthetic surgical procedure. And just like that, women have the clear language we’ve been needing so desperately for so long, to tell our surgeons exactly what we want.

Kim Bowles, for Our Bodies Ourselves

Read the whole guest post here.


Published by Not Putting on a Shirt

Founder of Not Putting on a Shirt, a mastectomy patients' rights organization that advocates for optimal surgical outcomes for patients going flat.

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