Your Breast Reconstruction Options After Radiation
The lower abdomen is traditionally used as the donor site for reconstruction following mastectomy when the remaining skin and subcutaneous tissue has been damaged by radiation. Not all patients respond to radiation in the same way. Some patients may receive lower doses of radiation and show significant signs of radiation damage and others may have high doses of radiation and show fewer signs of radiation damage. If patients develop capsular contracture, significant asymmetry, or chronic wounds from their radiation, then breast reconstruction with autologous tissue is an excellent option.
Breast reconstruction with DIEP flaps allows quality abdominal tissue to be used to reconstruct the breast. The tissue expander or implant, capsule, and radiated tissue are removed and replaced with soft abdominal skin.
Simultaneously, or in a separate operation, the contralateral breast can be reduced to match the reconstructed breast as is shown in the photo above.