Breast reconstruction complication (radiated breast)
Hi - I'd love to learn from anyone's experience with an LD flap or without a flap on skin that was previously radiated.
My situation: stage 1 cancer with lumpectomy and radiation. Diagnosis 3 years later of stage 0 with mastectomy as treatment. I have an excellent plastic surgeon who thought I could proceed without the flap (my skin looked great). However, my skin didn't deal well through the expander and implant process (looked like capsular contracture to me and felt tight). Along the way I developed redness, inflammation and a tiny hole along the incision line. Blood cultures were done after the implant removed and no infection. So, now I'm waiting to try again and I was under the initial impression that an LD flap was definitely needed this time around, however, after seeing how I'm healing now (skin looks great again), my surgeon is thinking that I may not need a flap or I may need a smaller tissue graft. While I don't want a flap, I'm also scared about this happening again. Skin that has been radiated can act strangely (as in my case).
Has anyone had either an LD flap tell me their experience (positive or negative) or had reconstruction without a flap on a breast that had radiation therapy several years prior? I love to know how you've fared over time and your thoughts about my situation.