open up radition side???

DEBY Member Posts: 19
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Has anyone opened up their radition side? I've been through the works and need some more surgery, long story short, I need some advice, my radioligest says NO, Plastic surgeion says Fine, I just need to get adjusted and I might go bigger on both sides but afraid of my chest wall not being able to handel bigger emplants which are'nt big at all. I just would like to feel somewhat bigger since I deserve it, and they would look better then what I have. we all should be happy considering what we've been through!! I Just dont know about opening up the side that has been through radition and has anyone out there going through anything simlar and un Happpy? Prayers DEBBIE


  • jamjar62
    jamjar62 Member Posts: 135
    Hi Debbie,

    I had reconstruction on my radiated side almost two years after I completed radiation. I did not have a mastectomy but had a lumpectomy.

    It was a large lumpectomy since my tumor was 6 cm. After two years I decided I was tired of having a perky breast and a droopy breast so I opted for reconstruction. Tissue was taken from my abdomen and implanted in my radiated breast. This was not a tram flap but was done by microsurgery. There is always a bit of swelling after surgery and the radiated skin did not swell as easily as normal skin. It was very tight and angry looking. (I'd be angry too after all its been through).

    Also, I did develop a hard lump of scar tissue there which I have to go back and have removed. But maybe this would have happened anyway.

    My plastic surgeon only does breast reconstruction so I felt pretty confident that she knew what she was doing. Make sure that your plastic surgeon is very experienced in post radiation implants or reconstruction. You don't want any surprises for you or for your surgeon.

    And you're right, you do deserve to be happy.

  • Future
    Future Member Posts: 133 Member
    Suggest you talk to doctors about risk of infection. I started delayed reconstruction last Spring, also had mastectomy on other side at the same time. The side that had radiation has been a problem -- had a lat flap with expander - had to have expander removed due to infection and continue to have problems with infection on the irradiated side -- simple mastectomy site (done in April) had been fine - no problems. Saw an infectious disease doc and she says irradiated skin is more susceptible to infection. May want to ask doc if the have any statistics on it.
  • chessie
    chessie Member Posts: 40
    Debbie, please see my post from earlier today. I recommend that you be careful about surgery to your radiated side. Although I did it, I ended up with an infection, and an incision that wouldn't heal. I wish you well. Good luck.
  • shannondugan
    shannondugan Member Posts: 9
    Hi DEBY - I just had mine opened on the 19th of last far so good. It seams to be healing well. It is very tight and only a small amount of discomfort. I have a very good Dr who has had a lot of experience in reconstruction. He implanted my right with a permanent one and the radiated side has one that can be expanded over time. I just went in last week to have more saleen added. We are trying to expand ( strech ) the skin on my left to try and make it look as "normal as possible" and then pull out some fluid so that it lays as much as possible like the right side. I went bigger on both sides and I did it after my 2 years anniversary from my surgery date. YES we do deserve it. We as woman.. at least me, feel the need for normalcy as much as possible
  • shannondugan
    shannondugan Member Posts: 9
    one thing i did not mention... the surgery was very painful. I had mine inserted under the muscle and I was at the hospital for 2 days for pain managment. I didnt think it was going to be so bad... but now that it is over and i look in the mirror... IT was worth every bit of pain. I look a lot better than before.
  • chhristin
    chhristin Member Posts: 7
    I had my reconstruction surgery 1 year after my Radical mastectomy. They took everything. Muscle, Tissue, nodes. I had to wait due to I was pregnant at diagnosis and throughout half of my treatment. Chemo and Radiaiton. I had the Vascular Trans Flap surgery. I have since then had 2 additional surgeries to adjust tissue and ad an implant. I also would like to go bigger but not sure that it would all stay in place. I think each person is different in how their body will handle the surgeries. I have been very lucky to have had no infection. I also have a very good surgeon who will make me wait 3-4 months before any further step is to be taken. Always get another opinion if you have any concerns. I hope it all goes well and you stay healthy!