Radiotherapy after reconstruction

I am about to start three weeks of radiotherapy six weeks after I had a bilateral mastectomy and LD flap reconstruction. There is not a lot of information about the effects of radiotherapy on reconstructed breasts and I am interested to hear from anyone who has had radiotherapy after their reconstruction and the effects that it had on their new breast/s and skin. I am delighted with my new breasts but worried that the radiotherapy will ruin them! I have spoken to both my surgeon and oncologist whom I have a lot of faith in and both seem confident that the radiotherapy will do minimal damage, however my oncologist does admit there is little research into this area. Am I worrying unnecessarily? Does anyone have any tips for me?

My surgeon refused to do a so-called recon until 6 months after RT due to the risks. I just think you should be prepared that they COULD, only could, suffer damage from the RT.

I had a free tram recon in July 06, followed 4 weeks later by chemo then 3 weeks of rads in Nov 06.
Had no problems other than skin going pink and feeling sore like sun burn. Used the aqueous cream
they gave me at the hospital twice a day and went without a bra when in the house.
My recon still looks great and the skin is lovely and soft.

Hi Ladies,

Like Dahlia, my surgeon refused to consider any immediate reconstruction because of having rads - said that rads COULD undo his work.

Looks like I’ll have to put this on my birthday list for next year!

Hugs to all

Spongebob xx

Thanks for your comments…Shell - very reassuring. Will have to have my fingers crossed and think positive.

My surgeon has done a ‘partial’ recon - had a LD flap in may, have had 6 TAC chemo, just finished, and start rads in 5 weeks. The partial bit refers to not having used an implant as they can harden and need removal. I’m of the understanding that 33% of them harden with rads. I’m aiming to have my implant next year now, as I need to manage my sick time well from work and get back onto full pay!! I currently use a little prosthesis to make up the deficit.

Td x

I had radiotherapy after having reconstruction with implants. I have had no problems and am very happy with the result. I know it is not usual for this to happen but i believe it helped my confidence and recovery. Good luck

My experience is that my surgeon told me that radiotherapy definitely Would damage the implant.
He did do an immediate reconstruction for me prior to radio and told me that it could make it shrink, harden or go mis shapen and he told me not to worry because whatever it did to the reconstruction he would be able to sort it.
Well, my implant is rock hard- It still looks fantastic and you wouldn’t know until you felt it, but its like a bullet on my chest. It doesn’t bother me at all and you can only really tell how hard it is through feeling the other side (which I had preventetive mastectomy and reconstruction in May this year). My surgeon is now going to replace both implants. Sorry if i’ve worried you, but wanted to add that even with a rock hard boob, they still look fantastic, cause me no pain and I don’t regret having the immediate reconstruction at all- I’m really pleased with the cosmetic results
Best Wishes