About 4 or 5 years ago I had a lumpectomy on one breast. I had radiation treatment...


About 4 or 5 years ago I had a lumpectomy on one breast. I had radiation treatment and all is fine now but I wanted to know, is it at all possible to enlarge the treated breast to match the size of the other one?


It is entirely possible to match the size of your breasts. First, you should consult with your breast surgeon and/or oncologist to see it they are comfortable with this decision. Your next step would be to consult with a plastic surgeon. During this evaluation, your plastic surgeon will examine you to assess the quantity and quality of the breast skin. Radiation therapy can lead to scarring of the remaining tissue of the breast. Thus, there may be limitations on the final size of the breast on the lumpectomy side. The easiest option would be placement of an implant. If the skin is deemed to be of poor quality, a flap (movement of skin with its own blood supply) may be necessary either with or without an implant. Surgery on the opposite breast, which may involve reduction, mastopexy, or mastopexy with an implant, may be necessary to achieve symmetry. Remember, the effects of radiation (skin discoloration, scarring, and uncertain healing) are chronic and slowly progressive over time. Your plastic surgeon is best able to discuss these options with you.


Radiation therapy can interfere with a blood supply to your breast.  In the past the incidence of capsular contraction or hardening of the breast implant following breast augmentation in post radiation therapy patients has been as high as 50%.

Fortunately today there are new options that may make it possible for you to have breast augmentation after radiation therapy.  Wrapping breast implants with a biologic membrane called acellular dermis can increase blood supply and improve the results of breast augmentation in the radiated breast.  Another option is fat transplantation which has also been shown to improve the blood supply to the radiated breast.

Please consult an expert board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in both cosmetic breast augmentation and breast reconstruction after lumpectomy and mastectomy.



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