Are Tissue Expanders for Breast Reconstruction Painful?

If you’ve been researching breast reconstruction, you may have learned about tissue expanders. These are very similar to breast implants, but have a thicker shell and are filled in increments over time to expand the skin on your breasts.

The tissue expander is typically placed in the first phase of breast reconstruction, as the general surgeon completes the mastectomy. It’s placed beneath the chest wall, and filled through a port on the front. The device gently stretches your skin and chest muscle over time, creating a pocket in which our plastic surgeons can place breast implants. At The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, we take every step we can to reduce discomfort during tissue expansion. One way we reduce pain is by using AlloDerm®, a tissue-like medical device that acts as a hammock to support the lower portion of the tissue expander, while the top is covered by the chest muscle. AlloDerm® enables our plastic surgeons to expedite the expansion process while reducing discomfort. Even with these precautions, it is normal to experience soreness and tightness as the expanders are filled each week.

Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Jeremy Williams and Dr. Christopher Williams are experienced in multiple breast reconstruction techniques, including reconstruction with breast implants. Particularly for women who do not have enough skin elsewhere for flap reconstruction, implant-based reconstruction can be a good option.

To schedule a consultation with one of the board-certified plastic surgeons at our Lone Tree, Colorado practice, please call The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, at ( 303) -706-1100.

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