loading
Breast Reconstruction After Radiation PRMA Plastic Surgery

Breast Reconstruction After Radiation

Breast Reconstruction After Radiation PRMA Plastic Surgery

Can you have breast reconstruction after radiation therapy for breast cancer? 

Traditionally general surgeons and oncologists have advocated waiting 6 months or more to have breast reconstruction after radiation treatment. I’m sure that those of you have needed radiation in the past have been told this, and even now, some surgeons and oncologists are still recommending waiting this long.

So it may come as a surprise that in some cases, reconstruction can be delayed by only 4-8 weeks.

To get the scoop, I chatted with one of our surgeons, Dr. Steven Pisano who had this to say:

“We’ve found that performing flap reconstruction sooner rather than later is actually better for some patients. Doing reconstruction sooner can improve the environment of the chest wall by allowing for increased blood flow, in turn creating a healthier breast long-term.

With radiation, the patient’s skin and soft tissues are ultimately damaged. The longer the patient waits to have reconstruction, the longer the effects of radiation have to settle in and wreak havoc on the skin, tissue and surrounding areas.

Performing a flap procedure like the DIEP, TUG, GAP or Latissimus flap allows us to remove that radiated skin and tissue and replace it with healthy skin and tissue from another part of the body.”

Implant procedures, however, are not usually the first choice for patients undergoing radiation treatment. If you’re a patient potentially needing radiation treatment, Dr. Pisano strongly recommends a flap procedure if you are a candidate for one.

“We avoid implant reconstructions in the setting of radiation, due to the increased potential for short and long-term problems such as infection, wound healing problems, implant exposure, capsular contracture and poor aesthetic outcomes.”

Author: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo and Brandy (Korman) Haslam

We’ve found that performing flap reconstruction sooner rather than later is actually better for some patients. Doing reconstruction sooner can improve the environment of the chest wall by allowing for increased blood flow, in turn creating a healthier breast long-term.

Sign Up for Our Monthly Newsletter

Online Form – Newsletter Signup

Continue Reading

record breaking 9500th flap breast reconstruction

PRMA Performs Record Breaking 9500th Flap-Based Breast Reconstruction Procedure

PRMA Surgeons Share Their COVID-19 Vaccine Experiences March 19, 2021 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin The team at PRMA Plastic Surgery | Center for Advanced Breast Reconstruction in San Antonio, Texas has set a new practice record after completing their 9,500th free-flap breast reconstruction procedure. Free-flap breast reconstruction is today’s most advanced breast reconstruction technique […]

Read More

PRMA Surgeons Share Their COVID-19 Vaccine Experiences_

PRMA Surgeons Share Their COVID-19 Vaccine Experiences

PRMA Surgeons Share Their COVID-19 Vaccine Experiences February 09, 2021 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin Currently, the state of Texas is administering COIVD-19 vaccines to healthcare workers and individuals 65 and older, or those who have underlying health conditions that increase their risk for sever COVID symptoms.  To do our part in the fight against […]

Read More

tissue expanders before diep flap breast reconstruction

Are Tissue Expanders Necessary Before DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?

Are Tissue Expanders Necessary Before DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction? January 28, 2021 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin Breast reconstruction is not a cookie-cutter procedure. Typically, reconstruction is done in stages for optimal cosmetic outcomes.  What happens during each phase can look very different from one individual to another.  A question we receive often is, “Are […]

Read More

nipple sensation after mastectomy and breast reconstruction

Will My Nipples Have Feeling After a Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction?

Will My Nipples Have Feeling After a Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction? January 21, 2021 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin For many women facing a mastectomy, the possibility of losing their nipple may come as a surprise. For some patients, a procedure that saves the nipple and areola, known as a nipple-sparing mastectomy, may be an […]

Read More

breast implants link to breast cancer

Do Textured Implants Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence?

Do Textured Implants Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence? January 12, 2021 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin Recent headlines and studies are reporting an increased risk of patients with textured breast implants developing a rare form of cancer called breast implant-associated large-cell lymphoma. Disturbingly, a new study is now showing a link between textured […]

Read More

A Year in Review at PRMA – 2020

A Year in Review at PRMA – 2020 December 28, 2020 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin The COVID-19 global pandemic is an event that has made 2020 a year like no other. It can be hard to feel optimistic or reflect on the good with a year full of unprecedented change. “This past year has […]

Read More

Reducing the Risk of Chronic Opioid Use After Breast Reconstruction with ERAS Protocol

Reducing the Risk of Chronic Opioid Use After Breast Reconstruction with ERAS Protocol

Reducing the Risk of Chronic Opioid Use After Breast Reconstruction with ERAS Protocol December 16, 2020 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin A study presented at the 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium reported that women with breast cancer may be at a high risk of developing a chronic opioid addiction following mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.  […]

Read More

Hospital Stay After DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction_ What to Expect

Hospital Stay After DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction: What to Expect

Hospital Stay After DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction: What to Expect December 09, 2020 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin Following DIEP flap breast reconstruction, patients are typically in the hospital for about 2-3 days.  During that time, patients often wonder what they should expect. Here is what a typical hospital stay for PRMA patients entails… Flap […]

Read More

Breast Reconstruction Surgery and Your Period

Breast Reconstruction Surgery and Your Period

Breast Reconstruction Surgery and Your Period December 02, 2020 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin During our pre-operative appointment with patients, a topic that occasionally arises is menstrual cycles.  It is completely normal for women to experience changes with their periods throughout breast cancer treatments.  These can be temporary or permanent.  Periods can be unpredictable following […]

Read More

What Bras and Abdominal Girdles to Wear After Breast Reconstruction Surgery

What Bras and Abdominal Girdles to Wear After Breast Reconstruction Surgery November 17, 2020 Share on Facebook Twitter Linkedin When preparing for breast reconstruction surgery, many patients want to know what types of bras and abdominal girdles they should plan to wear after surgery. Although every surgeon has slightly different preferences, we have put together […]

Read More

post-img
Prev post

Top 10 Ways to Support a Spouse with Breast Cancer

Next post

Dealing with Cancer During the Holidays

post-img

8 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    I had radiation after stage 3b BC & had Latissimus Dorsi with implants breast reconstruction & it turned out great & I’ve been very Lucky with NO problems. My surgeon here in Kentucky was great!!

  2. Lesa

    i had my left breast removed march 2nd 2012 i went thru the chemo and then 33 radiation treatments once treatments was done i had the first of 3 surgeries first was the tissue expander which was doing good but i set up and infection not from that had to have it removed waited a few months to heal from that then had the reconstruction started with the implant that to didn’t work just last week my plastic surgeon did the flap surgery where he took the muscle and skin from my back i have had very little pain and so far its doing good i still have stitches but its just been a week but so far so good

    1. PRMA Plastic Surgery

      Hi Lesa, glad you are doing well now after the LAT flap. Unfortunately the complication rate with implants after radiation is significantly higher than with flap reconstructions. Wishing you all the best! -Brandy

  3. Jess

    I finished 6 months of chemo a few weeks ago & I am to begin 25 fractions of radiation therapy tomorrow & have been told multiple times by the radiation oncologist that I would not be cleared for reconstruction for 6 months. The rationale being, that all the tissue needed to heal properly. During my consultation with PRMA, I was told I shouldn’t have to wait that long. Obviously, I would prefer sooner rather than later but also want the best outcome as well. Sincerely conflicted!!

    1. PRMA Plastic Surgery

      Hi Jess, PRMA surgeons are recommending waiting only a period of 4-8 weeks, but keep in mind all patients are different. The reason they are recommending a shorter time period is because they found that removing the damaged, radiated tissue sooner produces better outcomes. Hope this helps! -Brandy

  4. Anonymous

    My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and the oncologists suggested her radiotherapy. Due to which her breast tissues were destroyed. After that she underwent Mastectomy. Mastectomy is surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast. Immediately after the mastectomy surgery, her reconstruction surgery was held. Now she is happy with the results. She thanks the oncologists at https://www.advancedradiationcenters.com/ for radiation as well the doctors at PRMA for reconstruction.

    1. PRMA Plastic Surgery

      Love hearing your sweet aunt is doing well and is happy with her results! We are so honored to have served your wonderful family

  5. Walter Terry

    Great read.

Subscribe Newsletter