Symmetry after lumpectomy.

After lumpectomy and radiation (completed in May 2015) I now have one breast sitting 2-3 inches higher than the other. I also have existing breast implants done prior to my cancer dx. I'm wondering what my options are without going smaller. Would a bigger implant create symmetry?

Doctor Answers 2

Asymmetry after Lumpectomy with Radiation

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Asymmetry after Lumpectomy and Radiation is the most common complaint we as reconstructive surgeons encounter.  The causes are: 

  • The loss of skin following the lumpectomy
  • The retraction of the deep tissues in the breast after the mass is removed
  • The damage to the deep tissues caused by the radiation treatment. 

With out the benefit of a photograph or examination the most common reconstructive options would be

  1. Bringing in non-irradiated tissue to give more healthy volume and to allow the treated breast to settle into a more anatomical position
  2. Re-positioning of the implant  with a scar release to allow for a more aesthetically pleasing reconstruction

 I hope this information has helped.  

Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Breast Cancer Reconstruction

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It is difficult to give you credible guidance without photos. Lumpectomy defects after radiation can be very distorting to the breast. It is usually not as simple as a larger implant on the breast CA side. The radiation makes the process more complicated. You would likely benefit from fat grafting to the lumpectomy defect or even partial reconstruction with your own tissue from another part of your body. I recommend you consult with a Plastic Surgeon who routinely does breast reconstruction to know your best options. Best wishes. 

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.