American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
Dani L
10 months ago

Mastopexy and implant replacement with history of radiation to one breast

I had Benelli breast lift and silicone augmentation in 2007.Very pleased with my results. Dx with IDC of the right breast in 2019 I had lumpectomy and 19 rad treatments. My right breast looks perfect but now there is evidence of rupture on the right. I would like to have mastopexy and replace with smaller implants. PS is discouraging any lift procedure due to radiation. What is your opinion?

Procedure: Breast Lift
Location: Ventura, CA

Replies 1

Debra Johnson
ASPS Surgeon
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This is a tough situation. Radiation damages the blood supply to the breast and hampers healing. With a failed implant, I usually perform a capsulectomy to make sure all the silicone is gone. Then your body makes a new capsule around the new implant. After radiation, you are at higher risk of developing a capsular contracture on that side. Some try and mitigate that by using acellular dermal matrix and/or by having the patient take a leukotriene inhibitor after surgery. If you also perform a mastopexy, you are creating a larger wound with a risk of significant healing problems. Your doctor is not blowing smoke, any surgery on the radiated breast is a higher risk procedure, in which you might lose the implant completely and/or deform the breast. You might get away with it, but you need to be prepared for the worst.

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