This week, Richard M. Kline, Jr., MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question about breast reconstruction.
Question: I have started my reconstruction, but had to have one side removed and can’t start on that side for 6 more months. My one side has 80 ml saline in it. What are my best options?
Answer #1: Can you tell me why you had to have one side removed?
Richard M. Kline, Jr., MD
Answer from the patient: It started with a blood clot and just kept getting infecting. So my surgeon removed it so I could start my chemo and to get the infection cleared up, which it has cleared up completely. I have started my chemo, which I have 4 to 5 treatments. Then after 6 months from have inflated removed I can start the reconstruction procedure.
Answer #2: Sorry you’re having trouble. I think your surgeon was wise to remove the expander, you certainly don’t want to delay chemo.
If you weren’t radiated, it may be reasonable to try another expander after finishing chemo. I think the chances of it working may be less than usual since you’ve had trouble before, but nonetheless, it may work next time.
If you would like to forego expanders/implants and have reconstruction with your own tissue, the chance of getting an infection will be much less, and the quality of the reconstructed breasts will be much more natural. The surgery involved is larger, and it’s not for everyone, but once you are done there is essentially nothing to ever go wrong later. Previous unsuccessful reconstruction attempts with implants generally don’t affect our ability to reconstruct you with your own tissue, so if you want to try implants again after chemo, the natural tissue option will still potentially be there if implants don’t work again.
I would be happy to chat with you more about your situation at any time if you wish.
Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!