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Topic: Breast surgery (explant) after radiation

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Jun 14, 2019 08:05PM

naps wrote:

Hi all,

Gearing up for tissue expander removal and going flat on one side next week. Worrying that my irradiated skin is going to have trouble healing. PS said if wound doesn't heal well, I might need a skin flap, which I'm really hoping to avoid. Any stories of successful, uncomplicated healing following explant or exchange in irradiated breast? Please share them.

Thanks so much.

Dx 3/2016, ILC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/10/2016 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy AC Immunotherapy
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Oct 5, 2019 12:11PM DesertPup wrote:

Hi! When did radiation end? I was told by a few surgeons that they wouldn't consider doing anything to the radiated side for at a least a year. And I had really-really good luck as far as my skin holding up and staying healthy.

Dx 9/2018, ILC, Left, 6cm+, 1/8 nodes, ER+, HER2+ Surgery 1/15/2019 Radiation Therapy 2/28/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 14, 2019 11:18AM Anotherone wrote:

I had an expanded placed and exchanged for implant 10 years ago after radiation- not sure why removing it would have caused any problems.

Primary in 2006, metastasis 2019. Sorry can lot log in diagnosis and treatment info properly - it gets jumbled. Dx 10/10/2006, IDC, Left, Stage IIIC, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 7/1/2019, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs Chemotherapy 9/17/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy External: Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Oct 14, 2019 11:39AM naps wrote:

Thanks to both of you for your input!

Anotherone, sometimes irradiated tissue can have prolonged or complicated/difficult healing; the surgeon had told me it can be hard to predict who will experience that, and this had made me a bit anxious. Glad to hear it sounds like you had a relatively smooth course.

When I had the TE removed, almost 3 years had passed since the original surgery, so while the area had had time to recover from radiation, there was also more scarring and adhesions for them to deal with. I'm happy to report the healing went well overall. There was scarring around the remote saline port, and removing that caused some localized swelling/tenderness that is still somewhat present. I also had some mild lymphedema for a while around the incision that has mostly resolved as well as some tissue that remains fairly adherent to the underlying bony structures. I saw a wound care specialist and do self-massage for that. Healing just takes time. Grateful there were no major issues though.

Dx 3/2016, ILC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/10/2016 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy AC Immunotherapy

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