Ask The Doctor-Will my breasts ever be symmetrical?

6868671738_8a02cc2447_zThis week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: I live in Florida. I had breast cancer 15 years ago and had lumpectomy (r) breast and radiation. My right breast is much smaller than the left and is scarred . I would like to make both breasts symmetrical even and lifted. I have been told because of radiation treatment the right breast would not heal properly?

Answer: Thank you for your question. You  are correct that after radiation the breast tissue will not heal normally following surgery to correct asymmetry. Because the radiation impairs healing attempts to lift or change the breast shape often don’t work. Using an implant to increase the breast size is high risk for implant related problems. If surgery is attempted and a healing complication occurs, then the scaring and the result is often worse.

Two possible options for someone in general include:

1) Fat grafting to the radiated breast 

2) Completion mastectomy to remove the radiated tissue and reconstruction of the entire breast with your own fatty tissue. Option 1 would only be helpful for mild to  moderate shape problems and option 2 would be more involved but in my opinion the most helpful approach.

Let me know if you would like more information about these approaches.

Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!