Aesthetic flat closure- is that a thing on the NHS

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Hello, I was just wondering if aesthetic mastectomies are a thing on the NHS. I’m awaiting MRI results and should they show a larger area to be removed then a mastectomy will be the recommendation. 

I am suddenly terrified by the thought of the end result and having seen some pictures post mastectomy, I’ve had a read on going flat etc and some of the difficulties people have had with scars.

 I would be interested in hearing your experiences with this. I feel like I would struggle if I ended up with excess skin or fat. I know I probably sound silly thinking about aesthetics especially when what really matters is that my life is being saved by having the surgery.

  • Hi  

    A warm welcome to the online community. I'm sorry you've not had a reply to your post. I have had a different type of cancer so I hope you don't mind me responding. By responding to your post it will place it back at the top where it may be seen by more members of the group. I know your mind will be working overtime and you will be worried. It may be an idea to ring your specialist nurse to ask for information. Or you could contact the Macmillan helpline, they are very helpful, this is the link to contact https://www.macmillan.org.uk/about-us/contact-us

    I hope you get some answers and scan results soon. Best regards.

    A x

    What is a Community Champion?

    I am a Macmillan volunteer. 

    Macmillan Support Helpline

    0808 808 00 00 

    7 days a week between 8am -8pm

  • Hi Ruva

    I'm nearly at the end of my chemo so my next stage will be a right side masectomy. Like you I'm looking through all the options and it is bewildering! 

    I don't know how old you are but I'm early 40s. People keep saying that I'm married and have kids so it doesn't matter how I look. But that's not helpful! I want to be comfortable with my body.

    I haven't had my referral to the surgical team yet as you have to recover from the chemo first. I have a surgeon friend and asked her what she would want to know in the same position. Her main question would be what is the simplest procedure to remove all the cancer cells/tumour. She would then want to know recovery rates for the cosmetic procedures. 

    My concern is developing lymphodema because I'm right handed. I think that my questions to the surgeon will include which technique has the lowest risk of it.

    Good luck with your scan results. The waiting is awful.

  • Hi Ruva, 

    I found out last week that I need to have a left mastectomy and have also been researching aesthetic flat closure. The breast care nurse didn't seem to know the term (!) which wasn't too reassuring! I have found the info from Flat Friends to be really helpful and I have just asked for an appointment with the plastic surgeon about aesthetic flat closure as it seems to me that yes, we absolutely should be able to have it on the NHS but it doesn't seem that all regular breast surgeons know how to do it. I really prefer flat closure as opposed to the other options, but I want a good looking scar. 

  • Thank you so much for your contribution. Really good questions to ask. My final appointment before surgery is tomorrow so I will definitely be asking those questions. 

  • Thank you so much for sharing about flat friends, really helpful information.

    Best wishes 

  • It's not silly atall and my breast care nurse said to put all thoughts of feeling guilty or that it's vanity aside . It is a huge thing and psychologically you have to do what is best for you . I am scheduled for mastectomy on 30th November and have chosen to have reconstruction at the same time using muscle and skin from my back as I just felt I'd be more traumatised having nothing there . And would I be brave enough to go back alter down the line ? The breast care nurses should be able to reassure you and lay out all the options . We want to live and be happy after cancer and your own self image is important.  Sending love xx

  • Thank you all so much lovely people for sharing your experiences. As a way of update, following my discussion with the surgeon after the MRI results came back, I have chosen to go for the lumpectomy and using tissue from my back to fill the gap. I’ve considered all the arguments presented to me by 2 surgeons as well as my own reading, including experiences of others on this forum and I’m quite happy to go for this option in the first instance. I’m terrified but I know I can do this! I will keep you all posted on how I get on. Best wishes to everyone.

  • Hello lovely people, just to update I had my WLE yesterday. Arrived at 7am, disused with anaesthetist, singed in by nurse with lots and lots of questions. Say the surgeon who was so reassuring, she marked all area to come out, then I was sent off the the BCU where they marked the internal area with wire markers. That was very stressful but got through it. Off to theatre I went not long after. They had difficulty finding veins for the thingy they use to give the meds, eventually they put me to sleep with gas first and don’t remember anything after that. From the evidence left behind they tried 3 areas on my wrist, my left food and finally managed to fit it in my right foot.

    Woke up in recovery room, surgeon came to see me and said all went well and would see me in 2 weeks. I slept some more, then had tea and toast. 

    Went for a wee and thought I had the urge nothing came out and I was terrified but the nurses were all lovely. Felt very nauseous and was give anti sickness on 2 occasions. As soon as I could pass urine I was ready to get out of there. I left the unit at 8pm, and have slept well in a recliner chair I borrowed from my sister.

     I am so happy the first part is over, now want to do all I can to help with healing and move on to next stage.

     I could not have gone through this surgery without the support of this forum. You’re all amazing. Thank you