Resources and Information

Patient-centred information

Whether you are facing a mastectomy to treat breast cancer, or you are considering a risk-reducing mastectomy due to a strong family history or known inherited altered gene, the decision to have reconstruction or not after mastectomy is an extremely personal one. Whilst the views of your health care professionals, family, and friends are important, we think that it is more important that you have the surgery that you want, and which is right for you.
We have brought together patient-centred information and the real experiences of women, to create a practical guide about having a mastectomy and living without reconstruction. Whether you are considering living flat, or are having delayed reconstruction, our patient information booklet will help you weigh up your options, prepare for your mastectomy, and provide advice to support you to live positively without reconstruction. Paper copies are available from your breast care team, and a digital version can be downloaded from this page.

Surgical options and making an informed decision

You should expect to be treated with dignity and respect by your breast care team. You should also be involved in making decisions about your care and treatment, including having time to ask questions and discuss the information that you are given. Your Breast Care Nurse (BCN) should support you with this. You can change your mind about any procedures at any time, and your choice should be respected by your team.

Your surgeon will discuss reconstruction options with you, but this does not mean that this is the surgery you must have. If you are unsure about whether you want to have reconstruction or not, then you can delay your decision until later.

Things to consider:

Questions you may want to ask your breast care team:

What to take to hospital:

Living without reconstruction
A practical guide to having a mastectomy and living positively without reconstruction available to download here!

To request copies of this booklet
Flat Friends UK can provide packs of our patient booklet and flyers to hospitals and units across the UK. If you are a healthcare professional and would like to request a pack of booklets to be given to patients for your clinic please email us at:

For all media enquiries please contact:

Your New Chest

Your surgeon should have made sure your scars are flat – if this is the result you have asked for. However, you may be left with excess tissue at the ends of your scars – known as ‘dog ears’; these can be removed with a minor operation later if they bother you.

You may feel anxious about looking at your new chest for the first time, and this is normal as you face the visible signs of the surgery you have had. It can help to speak to someone you are close to about how you are feeling, or you could speak to Flat Friends members who have been through similar experiences to you: you can message us via our public Facebook page Flat Friends UK – Registered Charity 1168730 to join our private groups.

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