If I wait 1 year after radiation, can I get implant reconstruction? I'm a single mom and don't want DIEP. No mastectomy yet.
In your question you mention that you will be having radiation PROR to the mastectomy so I disagree with one of the answers below. Absolutely you can have implant based reconstruction if you have the mastectomy BEFORE any radiation with placement of the tissue expander. Then you could be expanded BEFORE radiation and proceed in 6-12 months with implant and fat transfer. But, because you will be having your radiation first before mastectomy you would not be a candidate for implant based reconstruction alone without a flap. Once the tissue has been radiated you are looking at a 30% chance of a complication based on recent literature. The answer that we would all give to the medical board if asked this question would be to do a flap for you because you will be radiated first before the mastectomy. Otherwise you are just gambling and will probably not have a good outcome trying to expand and already radiated breast.
Breast reconstruction after radiation
It is possible to undergo successful implant based reconstruction after radiation. This will depend on the status of your tissues. I routinely recommend placement of expanders at time of mastectomy to preserve the mastectomy flaps and waiting at least 6 months to one year after radiation to proceed with placement of the implant. I prefer using anatomic shaped implants and fat graft the radiated flaps to augment the skin quality and correct contour deformities. Best, Dr. Yegiyants