The below questions are answered by Dr. Richard M. Kline, Jr. of (opens in a new tab)Can I have a (opens in a new tab) two years after the lumpectomy and radiation? Absolutely! While reconstruction with implants after radiation (even if lumpectomy and not a whole mastectomy were performed) can often be problematic (if not impossible), the chance of getting a successful reconstruction using your own tissue is very high. In the simplest scenario, it is usually possible to use tissue from the abdomen or buttocks to simply “replace” the breast tissue lost from lumpectomy and radiation. Alternatively, sometimes a better result can be obtained if the lumpectomy is converted to a mastectomy prior to reconstruction. Finally, if the survivor is in a high-risk group for developing another breast cancer, she may wish to consider whether (opens in a new tab) is advisable prior to reconstruction. Usually reconstructing a lumpectomy defect will require only one side of the(opens in a new tab), so if the other side is not needed for reconstruction, it will be removed for symmetry and discarded. What tips do you share with your patients for them to achieve the very best results from breast reconstruction? 1. Have a positive attitude! Patients who are excited about their reconstruction frequently do very well and tolerate any “bumps in the road” much better. 2. Education. Try to become very familiar with your desired type of reconstruction, both through reading and discussing it with patients who have been through it already. Knowing what to expect allays fears and makes everything easier. 3. If time permits, maximize your body’s fitness through diet and exercise, to the extent that you are comfortable doing so. —Richard M. Kline Jr., M.D.
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