Replacement of Implants, Original Cancer and Radiation in 1985? (photo)

I had lumpectomy & radiation in 1985. I got UM silicone implants in June 2011. Left radiated side 400cc, right 325cc. Easy recovery; no problems - left breast is nice but firmer & smaller and right is softer & lower. Not really noticeable in bra. Can I increase the left side rather than reduce the right w new implant? Can I lift the right w/o moving nipple? Will I always be asymmetrical regardless of what I do? I am 61 and really don't want a big major surgery. Options? Opinions? THX!

Doctor Answers 8

Implants Replacement For A Breast Cancer Survivor

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Congratulations for beating breast cancer and thank you for sharing your photos along with your post.

It seems that the best approach at this point is a lift for your right breast that exhibits ptosis (drooping) hence correcting the asymmetry.

However, you may want to consider the size of your breasts and if you desire to go bigger then the implants are to be replaced.

It is important to note that perfect symmetry is not possible with any breast augmentation/lift. However, with the right sized implants and the complementing lift your breasts should be much more symmetrical than what they are in the photos.

That being said, please remember that commendable results require an exceptionally skilled surgeon to perform the surgery and settling for anything less than that increases the chances of additional corrective surgeries dramatically.
I hope this helps and please feel free to check the website below.

Thank you for your inquiry.
The best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Revision of Breast Reconstruction Surgery

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Thank you for your question.  I generally don't perform fat transfer to the breast after lumpectomy.  There appears to be some capsular contracture on the smaller side.  This could be corrected in conjunction with placement of a larger implant on that side.  Lifting the larger side (mastopexy) would involve moving the nipple.

Andrew Jimerson, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 557 reviews

Revision of reconstruction

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I am not sure if these were taken in a mirror, and therefore which side is right and which is left.

To get better volume symmetry, either using a larger implants, or using fat grafts is in order. 

To get the shapes more even, a breast lift, possibly on both sides would be necessary, and would involve moving the areolae.

The photos are helpful, but nothing beats an in person exam by your surgeon. Thanks and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Revision breast surgery after radiation

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Thank you for the photos and information.  You would likely need a lift (possibly both breasts and either a larger implant on the smaller side, or fat injections could be considered on the smaller side.  Please make an appointment for a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.  Best of luck to you.

Replacement of Implants, Original Cancer and Radiation in 1985?

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Congrats of the long term recovery and results. Might suggest to look into fat grafting to the right breast for volume symmetry and a left full lift. Best to you. 

Breast reconstruction revision

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Thanks for the description and photos, but to suggest the possible solution for you a consultation is critical. Not surprising that the radiated side feels a bit tight, sometimes more tissue using a latissimus muscle and skin is necessary to open the pocket up and provide more soft tissue coverage of the implant. But this is not the only potential option.

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

Breast implant exchange after cancer treatment

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Congratulations on having been cancer free for 27 years. Looking at your pictures you are smaller on the left side assuming you took the pictures in a mirror. You sure can exchange your implants for better symmetry, during this procedure, capsulotomy (releasing og the capsule) is done stategically to make the pocket less hard and to accommodate the larger implant. This needs to be done very carefully as you have had radiation in this area. Best of luck.

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Some degree of asymmetry is inevitable with a radiated breast

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Eugene 3762: I assume that the breast which appears on the left of the photo also was the one with the lumpectomy and radiation therapy.  Radiation has multiple effects among which is to make the breast skin envelope less "stretchy" and the implant space "tighter", just what you have observed. It "appears" that you could improve the volume, projection and softness of the "left" side. Consult with a PS who has an active interest in Breast reconstruction, choose an implant with a wider base diameter and greater projection and possibly modify the capsule (scar layer) around the current implant.  The "right" nipple position may only require a relatively minor "lift".    Best wishes for your continued health!    

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 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.