Been told I can’t have reconstructive surgery

Hello. I had a lumpectomy 3 years ago followed by radio. The first 18months afterwards my breast hadn’t altered much but since then it has significantly decreased in size and has changed shape with hardening around the scar. I’m 32 years old and have always been confident in my body until now. I hate the way It looks and feels. I went to see a cosmetic surgeon recently to get implants. I was devastated when he told me he couldn’t do anything as I have had radiotherapy and told me to go back to the surgeon who performed the lumpectomy.
I got in touch with my breast care nurse and she told me they can’t offer me reconstructive surgery ( no reason given) and I can’t have a fat transfer because it would mean having to have ultrasound when I have my annual mammograms. I’m gobsmacked and devastated that no one is able to help me.
Please can anyone let me know if they have managed to have reconstructive surgery, implants or fat transfer, after a lumpectomy and radiotherapy and which path I need to take now.
Thank you


Lilly-daa44 :heart: please do phone the number on here and speak to a nurse :heart: they might be able to give you some guidance on maybe getting 2nd opinions elsewhere :heart:I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been dismissed what appears to be so flippantly and as someone who’s levelling up surgery was botched 6 years after going through breast cancer, I can empathise with the distress and upset that you are experiencing :heart: it took me a while to come to terms with the botch they made of me and the dog ear their incompetence left me with has still to be rectified and I still have to wear something to level my boobs up but in the boob that was good because they reduced it too much. If after a 2nd opinion you are still told it can’t be done do seek out the support of the nurses on here, the someone like me option :heart: it was hard and I had to dig deep to recover from the distress their shoddy incompetence left me with but I choose to enjoy each second of precious life to the max and have found workarounds (evenly breasts by Kate Taylor) have been a God send for me :heart: sending much hope that a 2nd opinion give you options :heart::two_hearts::two_hearts::sparkles::sparkles:Shi xx


Hi Lilly-daa44

I had chemotherapy, lumpectomy and radiotherapy 3yrs ago, My breast is now 2cup sizes smaller than the good breast and also deformed, I am now on the waiting list for reconstructive surgery using fat transfer but this could take years.
I dont understand the reason they gave you about the ultrasound as i have had 3 mammograms since treatment ended and also ultrasound after each one as i was told that because i had breast cancer i would always have an ultrasound as routine after a mammogram.
I know how you are feeling but please go back and get a second opinion, if you have no luck i would refer them to pals and they will look in to this
Hope all goes well with the rest of your treatment.
Carolyn x


I had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiotherapy 9 years ago and was offered fat transfer straight away. I didn’t have to have ultrasound when i had my annual mammograms, so don’t know if that is something new. I think it is a bit of a postcode lottery regarding what treatments you are offered. I would try again, perhaps getting in touch with the surgeon instead of the breast care nurse? Hope you are successful,


Hi Lilydaa44 and Cal50,

In case my experience helps at all (albeit from some time ago) and appreciate NHS factors now compared to then.

I had lumpectomy and radio in 2014. Ended up v wonky, 34G one side n about 34D/DD the other side. Tried prosthesis over top but had a weird mega itchy red inflamed skin reaction to it within minutes of putting it on and was told not to use it or any other prosthesis. Tried a knitted knocker (didn’t work for me) and struggled on the bra front (even with the stretchiest of cups) so wore very loose and/or asymmetrical cut tops to camouflage unevenness.

I asked about a reduction on the larger side, based upon feeling really uncomfortable, it causing me back pain (even my shoulders were becoming v uneven), plus the reaction to the prostheses.
I wasn’t completely sure (given risk of reduced sensation) about having a reduction. Surgeon said there was no rush and more time after radio wasn’t a bad thing re any fibrosis which may develop and alter size a tad more.

I had a reduction op just under 3 years after BC surgery. I think I waited about 9 months for actual op from deciding to have it.

After that I was still v lopsided. My surgeon explained that it could take months for the swelling post surgery to completely go and that sometimes cells can (probably not the best or technical expression…sorry…) die back after surgery, resulting in loss of volume. Hence she hadn’t wanted to risk removing too much tissue. She clarified the degree of volume loss varied quite a lot from person to person.
Surgeon agreed to review me again after another 6-9 months.

At the review I was still very lopsided and still getting back pain. Surgeon said they could operate again and remove more. The 2nd reduction op was about 1 year after the first reduction op (so just under 4 years after lumpectomy). Result was pretty good, much more balanced, more comfortable, and hurrah no backache.

One or two non-medical people had asked me why didn’t I get an implant on the lumpectomy/radio/BC side…I never asked if that was an option (ie if it was possible), since for me, I could see that reducing the other side was probably best and easiest route, and I didn’t really want the BC side touched again by surgery.

Like Shi, I suggest you phone the BCN nurses since they may be able to give you more of an idea re how to go about getting a second opinion and may know whether different hospitals tend to have different policies/approaches.

Your hospital BC nurse may be able to explain a bit more about what the surgeon said?

Just to add, I found reduction surgery (still classed as reconstruction) much easier to recover from than lumpectomy, since it’s less invasive.

I really hope you find a way forward, one which is right for you.

Seabreeze x