Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is a very personal choice often made in the midst of a life-changing decision for life-saving surgery. This choice is driven by unique and personal experiences. Options may include implant-based reconstruction, DIEP flap reconstruction or a procedure commonly called Aesthetic Flat Closure. These were just some of the decisions Molly Holmes was weighing when she came to Dr. Potter’s practice in 2020.
Like many women, Molly says “I changed my mind three or four times in terms of what I wanted to do.” She says “I went in because [Dr. Potter] was famous for DIEP flap. But then I changed my mind to implants and ultimately I changed my mind to Aesthetic Flat Closure.”
Aesthetic Flat Closure is an option for many women. And while it’s gaining in popularity, not everyone is familiar with it. Aesthetic Flat Closure is a procedure done after, or as part of, a mastectomy surgery. With this procedure, the tissues of the chest are closed as smoothly as possible, without an implant or added natural tissue, resulting in a contour that mirrors the shape of the chest wall. Dr. Potter often refers to Aesthetic Flat Closure as “Body Shaped Closure” because it is not a truly flat result after surgery. “Body Shaped Closure matches the shape of your body and results depend on a variety of factors such as size/shape of the chest wall, ribs and sternum, the volume of the fatty tissue in the surrounding tissues, the size of pectoral muscle development, the age and elasticity of your skin and whether or not you’ve had an implant before,” says Dr. Potter.
Like all breast reconstruction procedures performed by Dr. Potter, Aesthetic Flat Closure (Body Shaped Closure) combines reconstructive and cosmetic techniques to deliver a safe and beautiful result. It requires a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon who can work with the contours of your own body. That’s one of the reasons Molly came to Dr. Potter’s practice. She knew she wanted a plastic surgeon, and Dr. Potter’s reputation was among the best. Molly says, “I felt like I was going to have beautiful results and something that was the best of the best because I had her on my team.”
One of the reasons Molly chose the Aesthetic Flat Closure Procedure is that there usually isn’t a need for follow-up surgeries. Dr. Potter aims to complete as few surgeries as possible. Molly put it in her own words, saying, “one of the reasons that I picked the Aesthetic Flat Closure is that I was not wanting to continue to have surgeries. I kind of just wanted to be done with it … I’m going to be comfortable and I’m going to heal quickly and get on to the next chapter.” In Molly’s case, she did not want another surgery. However, many women appreciate that with Aesthetic Flat Closure, you can always re-address your needs at a later stage in life and choose a different type of reconstruction option.
There are many benefits to an Aesthetic Flat Closure. In Molly’s words, “The benefit for me is that this is truly who I am. This is truly what my body can do and what it’s been through.” And that’s the case for a lot of women. The idea that your body is showing what you’ve been through, rather than hiding it.
Molly says of her experience with Dr. Potter’s practice, that they “understand that women want to have control over what their body looks like. She’s going to set your expectations appropriately and she is going to be sure that you get beautiful results no matter what you choose.”
The entire team at Dr. Potter’s office also had Molly’s back, every step of the way. Molly describes how the team was direct, with clear instructions as well as upfront in setting expectations. “It just felt like somebody was driving the train. … I just felt like I was in really good hands by people who specialized in healing scars. … I feel like everybody I talked to was really smart, really knew their stuff, knew exactly what to tell me to do.” Molly said, as a strong, confident, experienced and capable surgeon, she would absolutely recommend Dr. Potter’s practice to a friend going through a similar experience.
After her procedure, Molly is looking ahead with renewed optimism. “This is truly who I am. This is truly what my body can do and what it’s been through. My body has done amazing things for me and this is just this hurdle. And I feel good to be authentically up front and realistic with myself about where I am.”
Please contact us if you want more information about Aesthetic Flat Closure or any breast reconstruction surgeries.