Tissue Expanders After Mastectomy: What Do They Do?

Tissue Expanders After mastectomy surgery, women often choose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. When the surgery is not performed along with the mastectomy, they may have tissue expanders set in place to make room for implants in the future. Here is what you should know

What Are Tissue Expanders?

A tissue expander is essentially a temporary, empty breast implant that is placed in the chest to make room for a breast implant after a patient has undergone mastectomy surgery. These expanders help the tissue in the breast create a more ptotic appearance for the breast, ensuring the implant looks more natural.

How Do Tissue Expanders Help?

Tissue expanders are used to enlarge the implant pocket to ensure doctors have enough tissue to work with after a mastectomy. The tissue expanders will be placed for 8 to 12 weeks in most cases. They will then be removed and replaced with a breast implant.

How Are Tissue Expanders Placed?

There are two ways that tissue expanders can be placed. These include submuscular and prepectoral.

Submuscular Placement

Submuscular placement of the tissue expander means that the expander is placed under the large pectoralis muscles, which are located in the chest. The surgeon will make a pocket directly under the muscle and insert the tissue expander into that location. Once placed, the expander will be filled with liquid.

Prepectoral Placement

This type of placement involves the insertion of the tissue expander over the large pectoralis muscle within the chest. An acellular dermis will also be placed with the expander to provide support as the tissue heals. The body will absorb the mesh over time, however, so it does not need to be removed. When the tissue expander is placed prepectoral, it may be filled with air instead of liquid because it is less dense and will put less pressure on the healing skin.

To determine whether tissue expanders will help you with your breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy, it is always best to consult with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Schedule a Consultation in Lone Tree, CO

If you need a mastectomy and want to see if tissue expanders can help with your breast reconstruction later on, contact The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery to discuss your options. Their team of regional leaders in breast reconstruction can answer all of your questions and provide you with the guidance you need during this difficult time.

Their experienced, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons have extensive experience serving clients in Lone Tree, CO, Denver, and across the nation and can help you achieve the best possible outcome with your breast reconstruction surgery. Call 303-706-1100 to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

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