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getting an implant after radiation and subsequent mastectomy

topangacg Member Posts: 1
edited January 2023 in Breast Reconstruction

I'm looking for input from people who have had an implant on a formerly radiated breast that also had a lumpectomy. I have recurrent breast cancer in the same spot so after doing chemo I now must have a mastectomy. I'm considering an implant but I know the chances of it being unsuccessful are higher when the tissues had been radiated and also has had a surgery. Is there anyone out there who can tell me about their experiences trying an implant post mastectomy, radiation? I need to make a decision asap. I'm tempted to try it.

If you had this done, did they place the implant under your skin or under your pec muscle? Please tell me everything you can, I only have a few more days to make a decision. THANK YOU>


  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 254

    I had mastectomy and radiation. I had implants placed 11 months and one week after radiation ended. I was informed multiple times of the risks to have implants after radiation. I was also informed that if I wanted implants placed I must wait no less than six months after rads ended due to the risk of tissue damage from surgery on the radiated breast which could result in loss of the skin and additional surgeries. I went for it and have no regrets. I did not have any complications from it. My radiated breast healed faster than the good breast. I think my implants look pretty darned awesome and love how they look in clothes.

    Don't rush your decision. You can always go back later when you are 100% sure you want reconstruction and have had ample time to get information on all reconstruction options. You can do implants or DIEP. Do check out all of your reconstruction options and discuss the pros and cons for any that you consider.

    I wish you luck!

  • anniepnw
    anniepnw Member Posts: 23

    @wondering, when did you have the expanders placed? I assume they went in before your implants, right?

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 254

    Hi Annie,

    I had the TEs placed 3 months before my implants were placed. So, about 8 1/2 months after radiation ended. I had the TEs in about three months. The TEs weren't fun. At. All. :-D

    The implant exchange and implants were easy.

  • herb
    herb Member Posts: 61
    edited March 31

    I had cancer in 2015. In 2022 found out brca2 and opted to get mastectomy BMX thus year February 27th 2024. So far my radiated side expanders are high in chest and over to arm pit. The bottom of my breast is not expanding below the incision. Anyone else have thus issue on radiation breast with expanders