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Radiated Skin, Wound Not Healing

Hello Ladies,

I wonder if anyone can help? I have 2 wounds the size of a quarter that will not heal. It has been over a month now. I had some reconstruction to fix bad job from 15 years ago. The radiated skin would not allow the implant to work. So the implant was removed and left me with open wounds. What can be done about this? What if it does not heal? Thank You, Lisa

Comments

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,896
    edited December 2023

    lisa, I’ve sometimes used Hydrocolloid Bandages for cuts that won’t heal. You might try them. They cost a bit more but may be worth it. They stay on longer than regular bandaids. Also, consider calling your radiologist or oncologist’s office and tell them of the problem and see what they recommend.

    Here’s a link to the type bandaid I mentioned.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 766

    Hi @lisaelle, If your current doctors cannot help there are specialist wound surgeons who treat hard to heal wounds. I unfortunately ended up with deep second degree thermal burns on skin with (and without) radiation burns. The wound surgeon used debridement and special film/bandage medications. It took a while but my skin eventually healed with almost no permanent scarring. There are other available options including wound VACs, skin grafts, leeches and hyperbaric oxygen so it is very likely that something will work. These doctors can be found in burn units or diabetic wound clinics.

  • lisaelle
    lisaelle Member Posts: 2

    Maggie15 I’m entirely grateful for this information you provided. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ve been suffering. 🙏🙏🙏

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,683

    Hi @lisaelle, and welcome to BC.org! It's great that you found us and that you already got replies from others in our amazing community. We came across this article on our main site that might provide some insights into your situation: How Does Radiation Affect Breast Reconstruction?
    We hope it helps! Please, come back to let us know how you're doing. We're thinking of you!

    The Mods

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,211

    lisaelle - I too had severe necrosis issues and poor wound healing - at various points lost expanders and implants - until I had several fat grafting sessions to the affected area. I had three done at intervals and they helped provide vascularity and health to my thin skin. These were easy procedures, quick recovery, very little fat needed. Here are links to a couple of articles about this:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6416118/

    https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/fat-grafting-shows-promise-for-cancer-patients-with-radiation-induced-skin-injury

    I also used Silvadene cream between the grafts, and I had enough healing from this process that I have a successful reconstruction now.