Majority of breast cancer patients who opt to 'go flat' are satisfied with outcome, study finds

Nearly 74 percent of women who chose to forgo reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy said they were satisfied with the outcome, according to a study published in Annals of Surgical Oncology Jan. 3. 

Researchers from UC Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center administered an online survey to 931 women who had a history of unilateral or bilateral mastectomy and had not undergone breast mound reconstruction. A five-level scaled score was used to measure patients' outcome and surgeon support satisfaction. 

They found 74 percent of women were satisfied with their outcome, citing quicker recovery and avoidance of a foreign body as the top two reasons for going flat. Notably, 22 percent of respondents reported experiencing "flat denial," meaning the procedure was not offered, the surgeon was not supportive of the decision, or additional skin was intentionally left in case a patient changed their mind, despite preoperative agreements. 

"We were surprised that some women had to struggle to receive the procedure they desired," said Deanna Attai, MD, senior study author. "We hope the results may inform patients that going flat is an option, and to empower them to seek out surgeons who offer this option and respect their decision." 

To view the full study, click here. 


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