More Women Opting to ‘Go Flat’ After Mastectomy

“Women can’t make an informed choice if they aren’t given all of the choices,” Guthrie said.

It’s important that patients feel connected to their providers, said Susan Brown, senior director of health information and publications at Susan G. Komen. If someone feels like she wants to consider staying flat and isn’t getting the support of her surgeons, maybe it’s time for a second opinion, Brown said.

“One of the first things that stood out [about the study] was how important information is to patients before they try to make a decision or before they are faced with a decision, “said Brown.” The second is the importance of patient support. physicians to recognize, understand, and truly respect the patient’s wishes so that the provider or patient can partner up to make decisions as it seems that when this happens, patients are more satisfied with the decision they ultimately make taken. “

Mastectomies have increased in recent years for a variety of reasons, Brown said. Not having a rebuild isn’t new, but it’s not always something that has been discussed so openly, she said.

Patients exploring their options can call the 1-877-Go-Komen helpline, she suggested.

“Patients who are really exploring this as an option and just want to share some ideas with someone and get support for what they’re thinking about and to get a little support to get that second opinion, they could definitely contact our The Komen Breast Cancer Hotline for that type of information, ”Brown said.

The study was published online recently in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. Attai is now working with surgeons and patient advocates to develop a new investigative tool.

“And then we have several directions to take, one of which is to apply this to a larger patient population,” Attai said. “The other is on our training in surgery, making sure that our general surgeons and those doing fellowship in surgical breast oncology receive training in flat closure.


More information

The American Cancer Society has more information on alternatives to breast reconstruction.

SOURCES: Deanna Attai, MD, associate clinical professor, surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Susan Brown, MS, IA, Senior Director, Health Information and Publications, Susan G. Komen, Dallas; Catherine Guthrie, cancer survivor, Somerville, Mass .; Annals of Surgical Oncology, January 3, 2021, online

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