surgery after radiotherapy

Has anyone had reduction after radiotherapy (to even up my boobs)? I am being told that this is not ‘advisable’ due to post-operative complications such as poor wound healing, yet I know reconstruction IS done after radiotherapy in spite of such considerations!!! I would welcome any ideas/info on this topic. Thanks a lot.

Hi Grumpy,
I’m not sure about reductions after radio. Is it a reduction on the side you had radio or the other side? I will be having a delayed reconstruction and my hospital won’t do this until a year after radio finishes.

Lisa xx

hi grumpy, i have had numerous operations on the side i had radiotherapy and all healed well. I must say no one has ever said anything about the risk of poor healing to me. I couldnt have recon until after the rads anyway… maybe you need a second opinion hun x

Thanks both - yes I had radio on both sides after WLEs, no chemo thankfully. The boob with the large WLE looks fine, just a bit smaller than before. The other side was a smaller WLE which has resulted in a VERY droopy boob. My oncologist says reduction after radio is not advised due to poor wound healing problems, and frankly I can’t understand this reasoning when I know he does hundreds of complete recon ops after radio when the same considerations must apply. And after being told for 2 years that this surgery would be possible, if difficult, I am confused and feel a bit let down/cheated. If I had gone for double mastectomy I could have had double recon - horrible notion/more traumatic/expensive for the NHS etc. Is this something to do with the different procedures? or perhaps that ‘they’ don’t think the lopsidedness is severe enough? or, perish the thought, that NHS policy on corrective surgery is being changed? I don’t mind waiting longer, it’s just a year now.

Now seen a plastic surgeon who is quite happy to do reduction after radiotherapy, so now I can REALLY think about what I want to do - a great relief.
And now I have more info about the 2 different ops from the clinic: apparently healing is better stitching new flap tissue to damaged by r/t tissue, whereas stitcing 2 bits of damaged skin together can be iffy. Not completely convinced but at least a ‘proper’ reason instead of just a big fat NO.
BCN arranging appt with oncologist to discuss all this further.

NB to everyone - there seems to be a Catch 22 here - if we don’t get upset/weepy we don’t really need the surgery, if we do get upset/weepy we have ‘issues’ which means we are not good candidates for surgery!!!

And for goodness sake ask about corrective surgery options BEFORE initial surgery to establish if what you agree to may limit your choices for correction later on.