Can I Have a Breast Reduction if I Have Had Radiation?

can I have breat reductioon if I have had radiation?

Doctor Answers 7

Breast reduction after radiation

The problem with radiation and breast reduction is that the radiation can have a detrimental affect on the circulation of the breast resulting in severe complications. The risk also depends on other factors, for example, how much radiation did you have and for what condition? Is there damage to the skin from the radiation, such as hyper pigmentation or thickening of the skin? Theses factors would increase the probability of these complications. You should be examined by a plastic surgeon to address these issues specifically.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast Reduction after Radiation?

Thank you for the question.

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. It can be done on a patient who has had radiation in the past as long as the skin of the breasts are in good shape. Specifically, the skin should the soft and pliable as opposed to firm/indurated/red.

If the skin is not in good shape I would suggest avoiding elective surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Radiation and breast reduction

While a breast reduction can certainly be performed in patients that have received radiation, it is frought with a higher complication rate.  It also depends upon how the tissues look now and the time fram from the radiation treatment.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast reduction after radiotherapy

You would be at higher risk for complications including wound necrosis and delayed healing.  The question is how to weigh the risks against the potential benefits.  Additionally, you haven't noted the site of the radiation or the degree of symptoms which cause you to desire the breast reduction.  Definitely see a plastic surgeon in consultation who can go over the specific options which would be available to you.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast reduction after radiation

In agreement with other responses submitted, yes, you can have reduction mammaplasty after chest and/or breast irradiation.  The amount and location of the radiation may affect surgical decisions and technique.  Low dose radiation probably immaterial.  Higher dose concentrated radiation may result in localized fibrosis and potential impaired healing, with a higher chance of wound dehiscence, delayed healing, poor scarring, infection, and other problems.  If only one breast was irradiated, these risks do not apply to the non-irradiated side.  Your surgeon may adjust his or her technique to avoid vascular compromise.

Not all radiation is equal.  Ask your plastic surgeon about your specific situation.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Breast Reduction After Radiation

It is possible to perform a breast reduction after radiation. The breast needs to be soft with no persistent redness. The complication rate will be higher which includes wound healing problems and, I believe, increased firmness and risk of fat necrosis. I am assuming you had a lumpectomy and that incision and surgery play into the planning as well. Good Luck!

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Breast reduction after radiation

In my 26 year career I have performed several breast reductions on patients who had prior radiation. While I did warn these patients that they were at increased risk for healing complications all of them did well.I hope that you have a good outcome as well.

Ann F. Reilley, MD (retired)
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.