Ask The Doctor-Is it common to not be able to have reconstruction surgery with a low immune system?

white flowerThis week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: I have had three surgeries already. 2 to remove cancer and 1 reconstruction. I can’t have the last one because of infection in left breast where the cancer was—plus I keep getting sick because my immune system is low. Is this common if I just had radiation in the infected area?

Answer:  I’m sorry you are having problems. If you are having an infection after radiation, it would definitely be best to hold off on your reconstruction until your immune system has recovered and the infection is gone. Radiation treatments definitely increase the chance of getting an infection. If you have an implant in place already, it may need to be removed to resolve any infection. Once that has occurred you can still proceed with breast reconstruction at a later time when you have recovered.

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