Radiation after alloderm?

I recently had bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction with alloderm and silicone implants. Now I will be starting radiation. Will the radiation cause damage to alloderm?

Doctor Answers 4

Radiation after reconstruction

it's rare that tightening is not an issue after radiation, regardless of the presence of alloderm.  alloderm has been used successfully for the treatment of capsular contracture following cosmetic breast augmentation but has less utility for this problem in the face of radiation.  your plastic surgeon will follow along with you but you can expect additional procedures such as fat grafting+/- a flap procedure (bringing non-radiated tissue in) to cover or replace the implant


Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Radiation effect

Radiation will cause swelling and tightening of all breast tissues from skin to capsule. Some report that there is less contracture in the area of the Alloderm but that is not alwyas the case. I have seen patients do very well and have minimal tightness and others developed significant tightness. I do believe massage and increase range of motion exercises throughout the process will help you. I encourage you to continue exercising your shoulder and massaging with the cream provided. 

I encourage you to stay positive  and healthy  and you will do great.

Helena Guarda, MD
Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Radiation almost always affects the result of breast reconstruction

Radiation causes scarring and tightening of tissues.  It can affect your shoulder mobility due to tightening of the pectoralis major muscle, so it's important for you to have full range of motion going into radiation, and to maintain it during radiation.  If your body has incorporated the Alloderm (as it should have by now) then the radiation shouldn't affect it any more than it affects the surrounding tissues.  There is some evidence that Alloderm prevents or lessens capsular contracture, which almost always occurs with radiation.  The scar that your body makes around the implant (the capsule) will tighten with radiation.  It's possible that the Alloderm will lessen this, but in my opinion radiation will always have some effect.  The results are typically acceptable, but sometimes patients benefit from conversion to a flap reconstruction. 

Eric G. Halvorson, MD
Asheville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Radiation and implants

No doubt radiation will affect your breasts implants cause that side to be fuller and higher like you have a capsular contracture.  The alloderm will help prevent it from becoming severe contracture and instead likely just mild contracture.  

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.