• Reconstruction after radiation

    Asked by AngieStewart on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

    Reconstruction after radiation

    I am curious if anybody else has been told by your surgeon that you cannot get breast implants after radiation and that the DIEP Flap is really the only option for reconstruction. Any input would be appreciated.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • geekling's Avatar

      So very sorry @AngieStewart but I have no information for you except to say that it may very well pay to get an independent second, even 3rd or 4th opinion.

      I interviewed 8 different oncologists, for example, back when it was my time to need one and choose.

      I wish I had had the luxury of doing that with surgeons as well.

      Hugz and best wishes

      9 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I agree that a second opinion might help. At least then you can be comfortable that the first surgeon was correct (or, if 2nd doesn't agree, you have options to weigh)

      9 months ago
    • MKMH's Avatar

      Had DIEP flap almost a year ago. It was the best! I told my surgeon if anyone needs someone to talk to about it to give them my number. He said most patients live their outcome like me.

      9 months ago
    • debsweb18's Avatar

      I had immediate implant during mastectomy. Long story but after several surgeries went to another plastic surgeon and he recommended a lat flap. I had it and except for a corner taking a bit longer to close and heal it worked! Get another opinion.

      9 months ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar

      I was also told that reconstruction was not possible because of radiation. I then really thought about my future and what I wanted. My breast surgeon was the best in our area and she had been seeing me for almost 10 years so I did not seek a second opinion. However, I did consult with a plastic surgeon because he/she would do the reconstruction. They confirmed that reconstruction during surgery was not an option by anyone in their practice at the time of mastectomy due to my specific situation and upcoming treatment. I then discussed all the possible reconstruction options. While I can still have the DIEP flap, I have chosen to live "flat" for the foreseeable future. I actually love it because I was a D cup before and I now feel light and free. However, that may change and it is nice to have options.

      9 months ago
    • Rustysmom's Avatar

      So much of this is influenced by all of our specific circumstances. I was able to have reconstruction after my radiation. I had tissue expanders put in the day of my mastectomy, and all the fills were completed prior to my receiving radiation. I received 8 chemo treatments prior to radiation. Once I completed radiation, I waited a couple months before the surgery to replace the tissue expanders with the saline implants. It was important to get the tissue expanded prior to radiation, because once you have it, the skin is not elastic at all. I can see why many surgeons do not like to do reconstruction on radiated tissue.

      9 months ago
    • mofields' Avatar

      Obviously it depends on your circumstances whether it is yes or no. I had radiation (prior to that had the expander put in and most of my fills). The radiation oncologist said protocol says to wait at least a year to do implant surgery (to let you heal from radiation), but I had skin problems and we did my implant exchange - with the lat flap - just 5 months after I had finished radiation. If I were you, I would ask again.

      9 months ago

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