Will Abdomen Tissue Help with Right Breast Tightness?

I have had reconstruction (2005) left breast is awesome, right breast keeps getting tighter and tigher - I've been told due to radiation. It doesn't seem to be the skin but the muscle.

I am very physically active and am right handed. Can I keep my implants and have my right breast enhanced with some tissue from my abdomen to loosen this up -- my breast keeps getting higher and higher and is quite uncomfortable and looks really odd. I don't have a picture but I'm sure you get it.

Doctor Answers 4

Breast reconstruction

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One options is to add fat throughout a fat grafting procedure. Radiation can continue to tighten and shrink the breast many years after the reconstruction.

New York Plastic Surgeon

Work on irradiated tissue and breast reconstruction

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You can have fat grafted around the implant on the irradiated side.  I have had some success with this technique in softening the tissues after radiation therapy, but it is relatively unpredictable.  Some people have more improvement than others.  It is worth a try since the alternative is a flap such as a latissimus or DIEP (much bigger surgery).  You should try to avoid replacement of the implant until all else has failed due to high risk of healing problems when irradiated skin in operated on.

Leif Rogers, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Revision options for hardened breast after reconstruction

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Though I would need more information in order to make a definitive recommendation, it sounds like you have implant reconstruction with a capsular contracture. This is unfortunately common after radiation treatment. If the skin is soft then a good option to consider is revision of the capsule and placement of an Alloderm graft.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Radiation can complicate Breast Reconstruction

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External radiation is a double edged clinical sword. While it will kill local cancer cells and reduce the likelihood of the cancer coming back in the area of the mastectomy it also causes intense scarring of the radiated skin, muscle and tissues in between. In breasts reconstructed with an implant, it is not rare to have severe capsular contracture of the type you describe (Baker III) or even worse.

Entire books have been written on Breast Reconstruction and it is impossible to ethically and practically advise you on what can be done in YOUR case without getting your full surgical history and examining you. A revision may entail one or a combination of procedures. I would start with your original surgeon and ask him/her what his/her suggestions are. You may then get a second opinion. Look up Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Fidlay. She is a world renown breast surgeon who may give you good advice.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.