I had breast reconstruction with silicone implants after stage 3, HER2 positive, hormone negative breast cancer. The expanders were put in Dec.2016 and final surgery was Feb. 2018. My left breast had the cancer (with all lymph nodes removed) and I had a prophylactic mastectomy on the right side (2016) a year after my left side (2015). The expanders were put in after all treatment was finished - chemo, a year on Herceptin and 30 rounds of radiation. I have had no issues with the prophylactic side, but the radiated skin on my left breast is paper tissue thin with a small hole in the scar tissue and I have had repeated cases of cellulitis in the left breast requiring antibiotics. This breast is also misshapen due to the tightness of the radiated skin. Just talked with my plastic surgeon last week. Options are: 1) do nothing and deal with infections with antibiotics; 2) remove implants and put in smaller ones so skin isn’t as stretched; 3) explant and go flat (not something I’m personally comfortable with); 4) use a flap of skin from elsewhere on my body (abdomen is not an option due to previous surgeries) to replace the radiated skin and then put in smaller implants. My plastic surgeon does not do the fourth option, so I need to talk to another PS in the new year about whether or not this is even a possibility for me. Has anyone else faced reconstruction of their breast reconstruction and how did it go?
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