Radiation is a very important part of many women's cancer treatment plans. Radiation is excellent at killing those microscopic cancer cells, and helping to reduce your risk of cancer recurrence. However, radiation does affect the tissue at the site of treatment. Often times, the radiation can make this tissue very hard, or friable. In loose terms, I'll say that the radiation potentially fries the tissue where you've had the cancer. So radiation can complicate your reconstruction in the sense that it can add steps to your reconstructive plan.

Generally, we don't recommend definitive implant reconstruction following radiation, because plastic surgeons' experience and the literature shows that the risk of scar tissue forming around your implant skyrockets after radiation therapy. In our practice, it is our preference to recommend tissue-only reconstruction, or autologous reconstruction following radiation treatment.

How Does Radiation Affect Breast Reconstruction?

Doctor Bob Basu discusses radiation treatment and it's affects on Breast Reconstruction.