American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
4 years ago

Reconstruction after radiation

I have had radiation after my breast was expanded and the skin is very thin. Is it possible to surgically remove the damaged skin and expand the area to make new skin.

Procedure: Breast Reconstruction
Location: ny, NY

Replies 6

Steven Wallach
ASPS Surgeon
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If you remove the damaged skin, you can bring over healthy skin from the back with the latissimus dorsi muscle if you need it.

Brian Pinsky
ASPS Surgeon
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Radiation after mastectomy and breast reconstruction can be very damaging to the skin of the breast. It is often necessary to bring in healthy skin from the abdomen, thigh, or back to remove the radiation damaged tissue. This would convert to an autologous reconstruction and can offer excellent natural-looking results. I suggest seeing a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the options best for you.

John Derr, Jr

My suggestion is based on this concept: radiated tissue is leathery and has decreased vascularity. So my goal would be to bring healthy, non radiated, tissue in the form of a TRAM or LD myocutaneous or free flap.


John W Derr Jr MD FACS

John Layliev
ASPS Surgeon
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Breast Reconstruction following radiation is best suited with bringing in new healthy tissue from an unaffected part of your body such as your abdomen, back, or thigh. Based on your physical examination, appearance of your other breast, and your desires for breast volume, a surgical plan factoring this all in can be devised. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options. I would be happy to help.


Dr. John Layliev

Daniel Allan

The best operation for you would be microvascular free flap reconstruction. This is a highly specialized procure, not done by all plastic surgeons. You will have to do some research, but it is available in NY.

Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your question. In most cases of thin, radiated skin it is best to bring in a segment of skin and/or muscle to replace the damaged tissue. This leads to fewer complications and more predictable results. Hope this helps.


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