Patients who have undergone radiation therapy as part of their breast cancer treatment cannot always utilize the same breast reconstruction methods as those who have not. Though irradiated patients should typically delay procedures until treatment is complete, it’s still possible for them to achieve results that are as beautiful and natural-looking as any breast cancer survivor.
A common method for rebuilding breasts post-radiation treatment is autologous reconstruction, which uses the patient’s own body tissue – usually sourced from the abdomen – to rebuild the breasts. With this technique, our breast reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Wesley Schooler, harvests a section of skin and fatty tissue, called a DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap, using muscle-sparing methods and reshapes it to create breast tissue. Once healed, the results are often very natural-looking, and full function of abdominal muscles is typically maintained.
Dr. Schooler offers a second option for patients interested in implant-based reconstruction prior to completing cancer treatments. By combining breast implants with harvested fatty tissue and skin, patients can obtain full, shapely results with reduced risk of complications associated with breast implant procedures traditionally performed on patients requiring radiation.
As with all surgical procedures, Dr. Schooler will discuss the benefits and risks involved with each technique during the consultation process. With his extensive experience in breast reconstruction and emphasis on a quality patient experience, Dr. Schooler can often restore confidence while providing beautiful, natural-looking results patients love.
For more information about breast reconstruction procedures for breast cancer patients who have received radiation, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.