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Reconstruction after Radiation in COVID

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nipab
nipab Member Posts: 46
edited February 2022 in Breast Reconstruction

I had DCIS in 2015 which was treated with lumpectomy and radiation. I was diagnosed with triple negative couple of weeks ago. After few appointments with general surgeon, Oncologist and Plastic surgeon, it looks like double mastectomy is the best route for me due to my history. I am tired of getting stressed out every year when I go for mammogram. However, Plastic Surgeon thinks implants is not good on radiated side. This is from the hospital closer to me. I had lumpectomy done at MGH at Boston before. I do not want to go there this time as its covid times, my surgeon talked to the surgeon at MGH and according to them, they don't do flap for radiation breast, they do implant for last 3-4 years and are getting good results.

Anyone got implant on radiated side and have a sucess? This is very confusing and don't know what I should do. Also, please let me know how the recovery was and how long.

I have read topics for the same issue here, but I would like some current experience if possible as medical world keeps changing.

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  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited February 2022
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    nipab- So sorry about your diagnosis and having to find yourself here. I'm sorry I don't have an answer to your question. I had my implants placed and was dx'd with a recurrence a few days later and then had to have radiation. I met with my plastic surgeon yesterday as I need to downsize; she gave both options, implants and a DIEP, the concern is the radiated side, so I'm curious and hopeful that others will chime in and share their experience. I'm leaning towards the DIEP.

    My surgeries (BMX and exchange to implants) were surprisingly eager than I thought they would be. I was able to manage with Tylenol after the second day and was literally walking around the same night with both surgeries.The worst part for me with the BMX were the drains, but they were just more annoying than anything else. That being said, everyone's experience is different. I hope I helped a little.

  • nipab
    nipab Member Posts: 46
    edited February 2022
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    Thank you so much for your reply. I did not understand one thing. How did you get recurrence within few days of implants? You must have been diagnosed before and that's why you got implants done, right? Recurrence happened very fast? That must be very scary. Recovery reply definitely helps, gives me some ballpark of how long I will be out of work

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited February 2022
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    nipab - I was initially dx'd in March 2020 and had treatment until August 2020. In Sept 2020 I had a BMX with immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders. During surgery one of my lymph nodes came back positive and in Nov. 2020 I started Xeloda, but stopped in at the end of DEc 2020 because of the side effects In Feb. 2021 I found a lump on my "foob" and it was dismissed as a blemish/undissolved suture. It was watched and during my exchange to implant surgery in July 2021 a biopsy performed on the "blemish" came back positive. I did rads in Sept/Oct 2021.

    It wasn't s scary as the first diagnosis's ut emotionally I was a mess.

    I would have been able to go back to work a week later, with some movement restrictions and a drain that I was stuck with for 5 five weeks, again that was me. I found the BMX to have been a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Driving was probably the most difficult part for me.

    Your BS/PS will let you know when you can expect to go back to work. Take enough time to ensure you are healing is my best advice.