Many women must decide how they want to proceed with breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. If a woman is opposed to having direct-to-implant breast reconstruction, she may require the placement of tissue expanders during the healing process. Combining the use of tissue expanders with implant breast reconstruction can help to ensure there is enough tissue available for surgery.
How Are Tissue Expanders Used for Breast Reconstruction?
Tissue expanders play a critical role in increasing the amount of breast tissue that surgeons have to work with when it comes time to implant or recreate a breast. These expanders are placed during mastectomy or in a separate surgery and gradually expand to stretch the skin and increase the pocket size for implants to be placed later on.
Factors to Consider
Before moving forward with using tissue expanders and staged breast reconstruction surgery, you should consider a few issues.
- You are not required to schedule your reconstruction surgery when you schedule the mastectomy. You can always proceed with the expanders and the reconstruction surgery, or implants, once you fully heal from your mastectomy.
- You should decide whether you prefer the use of breast implants or reconstructing your breast using skin and fat from other areas of your body. Although implants require less time for recovery and surgery, breasts made with your own tissue can feel more natural and be more aesthetically pleasing.
- Consider the shape and size that you want your reconstructed breast to be. This can play a role in determining your available options for reconstruction surgery. The tissue expanders that are placed in your chest should be the same size and shape as the implants you want to insert in the future.
Preparing for Tissue Expanders
When preparing to get tissue expanders placed in your chest, it is important to consider that you will likely have to go through several surgical procedures. If you have the expanders placed during a mastectomy, you will eventually need surgery to have the breast reconstruction surgery and the placement of the implants.
You will want to have loose-fitting, soft-fabric shirts and supportive bras to wear after surgery. The expander will increase the size of your breast gradually, so you may want to consider bras with padding to help make up some of the difference in size between surgeries.
If you are interested in tissue expanders to aid in your breast reconstruction process, you should consult with a surgeon and discuss your options.
Schedule a Consultation
The board-certified plastic surgeons at Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery are proud to be a regional leader in non-surgical rejuvenation, breast reconstruction surgery, and cosmetic procedures.
Their highly skilled team is committed to providing services that exceed the expectations of patients every step of the way. To see if tissue expanders can help with your implant breast reconstruction surgery, contact their Lone Tree, CO, office by calling 303-706-1100 to book your consultation.