Question about reconstruction after radiation

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/18/2008 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed in September 2007. I had a mastectomy and a tissue expander was placed in my chest. A week after surgery, I learned that I did not have clean margins and radiation was recommended. In addition, I had one positive lymph node out of the four removed. During chemotherapy, my tissue expander has been fully inflated. I am almost done with chemo and will start radiation in June. My doctors plan to deflate my tissue expander for radiation (so that they can radiate the lymph nodes in the center of my chest) and then re-inflate it after radiation. They will then do reconstruction surgery and use some tissue from my back or stomach along with a small implant. I understand that this has rarely been done, so am looking for someone who may have experienced this.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2044
   Posted 4/19/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I think you need to run all this by your plastic surgeon to make sure it can be done. Lauri (dxed 04/11/1996)

"Go confidently into the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined" Thoreau
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Post Edited (MNlady13) : 4/20/2008 2:11:36 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/20/2008 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
My plastic surgeon, who other doctors tell me is one of the best in town, says he can do this procedure. Unfortunately, he has never done it before. I'm trying to find someone who has been through this to understand what to expect. So far, I haven't found anybody in my town (Houston), so thought I would try reaching out through this forum.

Mary HS

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 4/20/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Mary. I did not have radiation so this is just my input from knowing someone who did. She had the recon after the rads and her skin was damaged from the rads so it wouldn't stretch enough. Now, I would think if they are going to use your tissue from back or stomach it might work. Although I would think it may mean starting over as they would not use an implant probably. I DO very strongly agree that you need to find a plastic surgeon who has done this procedure before, many times!! It is a pretty intense surgery and you very much want someone who is experienced. Please do not have it done by a "first time" doctor!  Keep us informed on what you do, please.

Mary where are you located? There may be someone in your area that could refer you to a dr they know.

Hugs, Gail

Opps! I just realized you are in Huston (sorry missed that part) . MK and Jo-Ann are both in Texas and maybe they would know. Hopefully they will read this and suggest someone. Don't give up yet!

  It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Post Edited (postal2) : 4/20/2008 1:34:05 PM (GMT-6)

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