A breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, and decisions regarding treatment can feel even more so. When it comes to mastectomy, many women face the question of reconstruction. But for some, a different path exists: aesthetic flat closure.

What is Aesthetic Flat Closure?

Aesthetic Flat Closure also known as going flat, is a reconstructive technique following mastectomy. Unlike traditional reconstruction that aims to recreate the breast mound, flat closure focuses on creating a smooth, symmetrical chest wall. This is achieved by removing excess breast tissue, skin, and fat during the mastectomy itself. The remaining tissue is then carefully sculpted and tightened to achieve a flat appearance.

Why Choose Flat Closure?

Many women choose flat closure for a variety of reasons. Some may not desire the additional surgeries and recovery time associated with implant or flap reconstruction. Others may find the idea of a reconstructed breast emotionally or physically challenging. Flat closure offers a sense of control and finality, allowing women to move forward with their lives after cancer.

The Surgical Process

Aesthetic flat closure is a meticulous surgical procedure. The surgeon’s skill plays a crucial role in achieving a natural-looking outcome. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps:

  • Tissue Removal: Excess breast tissue, skin, and fat are carefully removed. This includes minimizing the risk of “dog ears” – bulky protrusions of excess skin – by making strategic incisions.
  • Shaping and Tightening: The remaining chest wall tissue is sculpted and tightened to create a smooth, even surface. This may involve techniques like local tissue flaps to address uneven areas.
  • Incision Closure: The incisions are meticulously closed to ensure minimal scarring and a symmetrical appearance.

Benefits and Considerations

Flat closure offers several benefits:

  • Reduced Recovery Time: By eliminating the need for additional reconstruction procedures, flat closure can lead to a faster recovery.
  • Psychological Well-being: For some women, the idea of a flat chest wall can be empowering and liberating.
  • Reduced Risk of Complications: Flat closure may have a lower risk of complications associated with implant-based reconstruction.

However, it’s important to consider all aspects:

  • Scarring: While techniques minimize scarring, flat closure will leave noticeable surgical marks.
  • Change in Body Image: Coming to terms with a flat chest wall can be an emotional adjustment for some women.
  • Potential for Revision Surgery: In some cases, additional procedures may be needed to address asymmetry or contour irregularities.

Making the Decision

Choosing flat closure is a deeply personal decision. Open communication with your doctor is crucial. Discuss your expectations, concerns, and body image preferences. Reviewing before-and-after photos of flat closure patients can also be helpful. Ultimately, the right choice is the one that best aligns with your physical and emotional well-being.