Reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy or lumpectomy aims to restore the breast to its previous shape, size and symmetry by using implants or taking tissue from another part of the woman’s body. Numerous studies have concluded that reconstruction after surgery contributes to the psychological well-being of women recovering from breast cancer.

But a growing number of breast cancer survivors are choosing to forgo such procedures. Many of the women who “go flat” also decline to use a bra with prostheses to create any sort of breast shape, preferring instead to live with a perfectly level chest.