Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

radiation with expanders

I had a 4.6.cm and a 1.6.cm tumor in my right breast. I went through 4 treatments of chemo following a bilateral mastectomy with expanders put in. I had 18 lymphnodes tested and they all came out negative as well as the left breast tissue. I am cancer free as of right now. I will remain on herceptin for the remainder of the year and start taking tamoxifin. Just when I thought I was finished, the Dr. hit me with the possibility of radiation. Concern being micro. cells in the chest wall. Talk about bummed out! Now my concern is that I have expanders put in with only 200cc at this time. It has been four and a half weeks since my surgery. I was hoping to get back to my normal breast size which is a D cup. My question is, will the radiation stop the breast reconstuction process? Will the radiation affect the expanders? Will it hurt to wait until I am fully expanded? Please help answer some of these questions. I need some opinions.
Thanks


This discussion is related to Radiation in tissue expander.
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
I am sorry to hear of your bad experience. What exactly are super boosts? On your 30 treatments, how long did they last? Did you go 5 days a week? I wonder why your Dr. didn't put your implants in before strarting treatment since you were fully expanded? Please write back.

Thanks
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I had a mastectomy on my right side in Sept, the plastic surgeon inserted a tissue expander during the surgery and within weeks started to fill it with saline.  In November my right breast was similar in size to my left so the plastic surgeon stopped filling the expander and I started radiation therapy, which lasted until January.  I had 30 treatments and 4 super boosts; I burned to the point that my skin oozed, bled, and was crusty.  At the beginning of March I seemed recovered enough to continue with the tissue expander injections that would eventually lead to a silicone implant.  After 2 injections I developed a small lesion on my breast; within a month it was a 2x4 inches, gross, bloody. pus-filled  lesion and my plastic surgeon cut that skin off and remove the tissue expander.   I believe that it was radiation necrosis of the skin but no one is saying that.  The only pictures that are similar to my ailment are on very old people, I am 49.  I have down some research on the internet and there is discussion that radiation therapy is more apt to be problematic if one has a tissue expander.  My tissue expander had a metal port and evidently raditation and metal do not mix.  Please discuss these issues with both your plastic surgeon and radiation oncologist.  My doctors are now pointing fingers at each other.  It is a nightmare and my chest is so hideous that I cannot stand to look at myself in the mirror.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi there.

The tissue expander may not be affected much by the radiation, and may still proceed with the regular expansion. However, there might be a delay in the eventual placing of the permanent implants since these should be placed after the radiation treatment (and after the radiated area healed properly).  Your situation would really require a multidisciplinary team approach with close coordination with the surgeon, oncologist, and the radiation oncologist.  I suggest you discuss this in depth with them.  Wishing you all the best.  Regards and God bless.  
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Breast Cancer Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
A quick primer on the different ways breast cancer can be treated.
Diet and digestion have more to do with cancer prevention than you may realize
From mammograms to personal hygiene, learn the truth about these deadly breast cancer rumors.
Breast cancer is not an inevitability. From what you eat and drink to how much you exercise, learn what you can do to slash your risk.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.