I had lumpectomy and radiation in my left breast 20 years ago. Now I have a new carcinoma and must have a mastectomy of same breast. I was told that an implant is not an option because of the previous radiation. Just want to verify that this is correct. I am not interested in using back muscle because I am an active swimmer.
Breast Reconstruction After Radiation That Occurred 20 Years Ago?
Doctor Answers 3
Implant after radiation and mastectomy
After 20 years, the radiation effects on the skin should have improved, and you should be OK to have an implant reconstruction. It really depends upon the skin quality.
Breast reconstruction after radiation that occurred 20 years ago?
There are many options to breast reconstruction including implant-based and flap-based procedures. The complication rate with implants following radiation is reported as high as 60-70% in some studies. Flap reconstruction is usually recommended, but there are several centers who perform implants following radiation with great success and results. I typically prefer flaps, such as the DIEP flap. Other flaps are the conventional TRAM, latissimus flap, SGAP/IGAP, and, TUG.
You are a candidate for other procedures, if you are willing to continue with your journey for a reconstructed breast. Flaps such as those above, including others, are available. The decision to continue with this will be your decision and what you are willing to go through. There are risks and benefits with everything that we do in Surgery - discuss the various options with a board certified plastic surgeon who will educate you on all of the options and help you to decided if breast reconstruction or which procedure will be best for you. Hope that this helps and best wishes!
If you are interested in being seen in Austin please give us a call. I know this is a difficult time for you. The majority of my practice is devoted to reconstruction for women with breast cancer or who are BRCA+
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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.