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Topic: Expanders and radiation experience

Forum: Breast Reconstruction —

Talk with others facing decisions about whether or not to have breast reconstruction, and if so, what type and when.

Posted on: Nov 28, 2021 07:02AM

LoverofJesus wrote:

Hi ladies. I just got expanders. I MAY have to have radiation as well.

What is your experience with expanders first then radiation? Did you do ok and was able to continue to implants after radiation? What did you do to protect your skin so that you would not lose expanders?

Any information will help. I’m just trying to see what I’m facing.

Dx 5/22/2021, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/15/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/2/2021 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 28, 2021 11:42AM Serendipity09 wrote:

LoverofJesus - I had my exchange to implants and diagnosed again. I finished radiation a little over a month ago and my skin is back to normal. It would've been ideal to still have had the TE's, but thank God everything is ok. I see the PS in January to decide when I will have my first revision done.

Hoping everything goes well for you.

Dx 3/2020, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2020 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 7/2021, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/9/2021 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 29, 2021 10:18AM - edited Nov 29, 2021 10:19AM by LeesaD

I had radiation with expanders in. No issues during radiation. Brought supplies to daily radiation and immediately after in dressing room I used Lubriderm advanced all over radiated breast and then Aquaphor every night at bedtime. My skin held up really well and showed just a tiny bit of redness at end of treatments. I was able to have exchange to implants about 3 1/2 months later. Exchange went fine and I've had one revision since in the radiated breast as developed slight capsular contracture and it lifted my right radiated breast higher than left and it's tighter than left. Planning on having second revision as the symmetry is off. I actually like the look of the capsular contracted radiated breast better as it's higher and tighter as opposed to the implant in my left breast. I'm not sure if capsular contracture happened in right because I had radiation with the expanders in. My left breast had expander also but no radiation and no capsular contracture.

Oncotype Score 3, 2/4 Sentinal Nodes micromestasis so pushed for ALND for 'peace of Mind' and surprise found 2/14 positive axillary nodes Dx 2/3/2017, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 4/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/17/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 5/9/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/2/2017 Hormonal Therapy 9/7/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery 11/17/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 1/30/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Nov 30, 2021 08:24AM Lalbo wrote:

I had TE to implant exchange on 9/22/21 after radiation on right breast side with TE's. My PS said if we were going to work on symmetry he does not want to work on radiated breast, only non-rad breast side. My rad side looks wonky to me, non-rad side looks fine. They are not the same size non-rad is bigger and much farther down than rad side. I'm still waiting about 4 more months before I start considering revision. I'm close enough to New Orleans that I would consider going o there for revision.

Dx 3/2021, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/12/2021 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 7/19/2021 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 9/22/2021 Reconstruction (left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 4, 2021 02:56AM Grandma-unicorn wrote:

I had 6 weeks of radiation rt side only, the te was kind of misshapen afterwards but no real issues with it. Jean's cream and Rejuvaskin during the day, Aquaphor everywhere at night

I had capsular contracture on the lt side, nothing to do with radiation.

PS made me wait 4 1/2 months for skin to heal enough for exchange and fat grafting (Nov 9, 2021) chest pain wasn't very terrible, but donor site (PS would only do stomach and she says I'm tiny and that they have to work harder for the fat if you're tiny) felt like I was receiving acupuncture with steak knives for a couple of days, but like other surgeries after that it was manageable without medication

Radiated side looks amazing, the otherside I'm not happy with - but there's always revision

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