• Breast reconstruction (implant)

    Asked by gailk on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Breast reconstruction (implant)

    Five months after completing chemo and radiation, I had reconstruction replacing expanders with silicone implants. It's been almost three months of healing and now I have capsular contracture on the side which had radiation. That side is now rising about an inch higher than the other side which leaves me with uneven breasts. My plastic surgeon said he could go back in and remove the surgical scars which are contracting, but it would only last until more scars form. He said I would end up having repeated surgeries and he would not recommend starting this. I am so disappointed with this result and don't know what to do. After going through surgery, chemo, and radiation, I at least thought I would have nice reconstructed breasts at the end of this long cancer process. Has anyone else experienced this and were you able to resolve this satisfactorily?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • banditwalker's Avatar
      banditwalker

      I'm sorry your surgery did not have a happy ending. Please consider getting a second opinion from a plastic surgeon not associated with your current facility. I ended up having problems with my DIEP Flap surgery and went to another surgeon, I ended up happy with the outcome.

      6 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      I have the same problem. At first I was told that I would not need radiation, and I was thrilled because it meant that I would have new perky breast. After the final pathology report came in, my surgeon suggested radiation. I was so disappointed. It was my choice, but I wanted to do everything I could in hopes of stopping the cancer from returning. I don't think I look too bad with a real bra on, but that is just my opinion. My family hasn't said anything different, so I am sticking with it. LOL. I didn't get a second opinion from another plastic surgeon, because I really like mine. I know that he would do something if he could. Maybe if I were younger, I would do something, but at this point I don't plan to have more surgery. I did have some fat transferred 3 months after my permanent implants were put in, and I think that did help a little. Let us know if you find something that helps. Good luck. Take care.

      6 months ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      Because of radiation, I did not try an implant. Went for prophylactic Mx on other side, then bilateral DIEP flap. Have read that many of us have tried the implant on the radiated side, only to have problems. Then some have had a flap procedure. Hope you can get some help and satisfaction. Hugs ( )

      5 months ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. Breast tissue changes after radiation even if you haven't had a mastectomy and reconstruction. My mother had a lumpectomy and the breast that was radiated is vastly different from her other breast. I did not notice the difference in the first few years, but as time has gone on the difference between breasts has become much more visible even with a bra on. I think there is only so much a surgeon can do, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get a second opinion. I'm sure my mom could have surgery to even out the situation but she's been stage IV for nearly 10 years. She has other things to worry about and doesn't want to go through surgery and stress out her body. I opted to stay flat, but there is a big difference even with me between the radiation side and other side especially as far as movement, lymphedema, pain.

      5 months ago
    • HRtr's Avatar
      HRtr

      I had the same issue. My plastic surgeon removed the implant on the non-radiated side and lifted it up to roughly the same level as the radiated side. I also had some fat grafting. They are not perfect, but much more even. All the best.

      5 months ago

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