Breast reconstruction, prostheses and remaining flat
Choosing what to do after surgery for breast cancer is very personal. It is based on what will make you feel most comfortable and confident, and what your surgeon says is possible. If you have had a
Breast reconstruction recreates a breast after all or part of it is removed. A breast can be reconstructed with a
A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast form. You wear it inside your bra to create the natural shape of a breast.
"Remaining flat" means not having breast reconstruction or wearing a prosthesis after surgery for breast cancer. Choosing not to have breast reconstruction surgery or using a breast prosthesis can also be called "staying flat," "going flat" or "living flat."
Keep in mind that having breast reconstruction or wearing a breast prosthesis is not medically necessary. But if you are struggling with the loss of your breast and changes to your appearance, these options may help you feel more like yourself.
Talk to your healthcare team, family, friends and people who have gone through the same experience about the options available to you after surgery for breast cancer. Based on this information, you can decide what is best for you.
Expert review and references
breastcancer.org. Going Flat: Choosing No Reconstruction. 2016: https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/no-reconstruction.
American Cancer Society. Breast Reconstruction Surgery. 2022: https://www.cancer.org/.
Cancer Research UK. False Breast Shape (Prosthesis) After Breast Cancer Surgery. 2020: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/.
Mayo Clinic. Breast Reconstruction with Implants. 2020: https://www.mayoclinic.org.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. My Mastecomy Surgery: Breast Prostheses, Reconstruction and Healing. Toronto, ON: 2022: https://sunnybrook.ca/.