Will Acell help an open wound resulting from radiation following bilateral mastectomy performed 2.5 years ago? Shirley L.

2.5 years ago I had radical bilateral mastectomy. After radiation and numerous surgeries, and hyperbaric treatments the end result is necrosis with undermining and a remaining open wound measuring 3" x 2" x 3 cm deep.

Doctor Answers 3

Acell and radiation wounds

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Most of the time you will need to rotate new tissue into the area. However, I don't know how you've been caring for this wound. Sometimes it is possible to change the wound care regimen and get healing. Once I met a man who'd been cleaning his wound with peroxide daily. He kept that wound open for over 10 years. When we got him on an appropriate regimen the wound healed. I don't know what your wound care has been like. I suspect, if you've had hyperbaric treatments, that you have been given pretty much everything that would be helpful. 

Acell is a great product. It might work, but you need not only healing but a stable scar that doesn't break open. I don't know that Acell could give you that. Furthermore, I have had trouble getting insurance coverage for the product, so it is possible that you would be paying out of pocket.

Talk to your plastic surgeon about this. You'll get an informed opinion customized on your exam.

Breast reconstruction

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You need healthy tissue to reconstruct this wound and can either do a free flap such as the DIEP flap or LD flap (back muscle).  Make sure to see a PS who can offer you all types of reconstruction.

Breast radiated wound

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  Open wounds of radiated tissue is very difficult to heal. In my practice that will require surgery. A muscle flap is needed where the muscle will bring new blood supply and new health tissue for complete healing.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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