Alloderm left behind after extenders removed due to chronic inflammation

My plastic surgeon removed my breast extenders due to chronic inflammation. He left the Alloderm in even though I am not a candidate for any kind of reconstruction. My left side continually pains me and is extremely tight and my shoulder is frozen. I Am convinced that the Alloderm along with 36 rounds of radiation really did damage on the extender that was shriveled and had to be cut out in 3 sections on left side. The tightness is unbearable and I have nueropathy. Help ! I need advice.

Doctor Answers 4

Alloderm left behind after extenders removed due to chronic inflammation

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If your Alloderm has completely incorporated into your tissues, it's unlikely that it is responsible for your symptoms.  More likely, the inflammation from your infection and scar from radiation and surgery are responsible.  Post mastectomy coordinated rehab (directed through your physician) may help.
Also, at some point you will be a candidate for reconstruction again, but the reconstruction will likely take the form of autologous tissue.

Castle Rock Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

AlloDerm left behind

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Your situation sounds a bit complex. If you have had 36 rounds of radiation I would guess this it the radiation more likely than the AlloDerm that has caused tightness and neuropathy. Residual AlloDerm typically does not cause pain or tightness and I do not think it is contributing to the frozen shoulder. It sounds like you might benefit from consultation with a pain management specialist and from an appropriate course of physical therapy. Wishing you good luck.

Neal Handel, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews


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Radiation is the real culprit here even though I would have taken out the majority of the Alloderm as well if not all. Alloderm has to incorporate and become part of your native tissue, which is compromised by any number of factors including radiation. I would recommend against pain management and work with PT and excercise. You will be a candidate for reconstruction again if your cancer remains stable. Hang in there☺️

Mark H. Leech, MD
Chattanooga Plastic Surgeon

Remaining Alloderm

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Given enough time AlloDerm will incorporate with your native tissue and become a part of you. When AlloDerm is completely incorporated there is no reason to remove it.  It seems much more likely the cause of your pain, tightness, and frozen shoulder is related to the chronic inflammation and radiation.  We recommend and refer our patients to see a physical therapist who specializes in post-operative breast reconstruction patients.  In regards to your ultimate breast reconstruction it may be that you are simply not an implant based reconstruction candidate, but there are autologous reconstruction options you could possibly be a candidate for.  I wish you the best of luck with your recovery.

William Doubek, MD, FACS
Oshkosh Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 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.