After 3 Failed Breast Reconstructions, Can I Try for a 4th to Correct the Disasters I've Suffered?

Between infections and rejections, I have had three failed reconstructions. My right breast was removed due to cancer. The doctor attempted to make my breasts look similar - all three endeavors were horrible. I look like a melted Dairy Queen cone. I really want to look normal. Will another surgery help?

Doctor Answers 5

Options for breast reconstruction

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Your experience unfortunately is not unique.  Thankfully, there are always options including using your own tissues from the abdomen or back to reconstruct your breasts.  Many times these techniques, although more complicated, result in better outcomes than with expanders/implants.  Do not loose hope and seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Breast reconstruction

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There are many options with breast reconstruction, but it is too complex to discuss in this forum without more history and an exam.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Reconstruction

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It seems you had a very complex history of failed breast reconstruction. There are many factors to consider. Your medical history, previous history of radiation, diabetes, obesity all these factors has to be considered and decide what is the best method of breast reconstruction. It is time to have several opinions. Your consultation is at least 2 hours and you need to participate in the decision making after all the options and the facts are presented to you.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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Failed breast reconstruction - needs a more thorough evaluation

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It sounds like you need a thorough evaluation to determine what options are available to you for breast reconstruction.  If you had radiation to the chest wall then you may need to consider some other form of reconstruction other than expanders and implants. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Need information to decide on breast reconstruction options

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You give no details about your reconstruction or the mastectomy, so here is a checklist of things to consider: 1. Was it immediate reconstruction or delayed? 2. Tissue expanders or direct to implant or a flap procedure without implants? 3. If implants or tissue expander, was Alloderm or a similar acellular matrix used? 4. If there was infection, did the implant/expander have to be removed? 5. Was an additional procedure such as a breast lift done? 6. If implants, what type? (saline or silicone, round or shaped, form-stable such as Allergan 410 or Sientra). 7. What do you mean by "rejections?" 8. What is the timeline of the various procedures you have had? Bottom line is you should not give up on reconstruction but much more information is needed to give you some direction.

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

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.