Tissue expansion is a Plastic Surgical procedure in which silicone balloons (expanders) are inserted, and then serially inflated with saline.
Tissue expansion has been used in many clinical situations including:
Both immediate and delayed reconstruction. The expander is the actual breast prosthesis. The expander can be over inflated then deflated to reproduce a natural looking breast. Single or two stage operations are possible.
The effect of tissue expansion is especially useful in delayed breast reconstructions. The extra skin which is achieved replaces that lost at the time of the mastectomy.
Complications and Risks
All Procedures have potential complications and risks. These can be divided into general complications and those specific to each procedure. The latter are listed in the FAQs below.
General complications include:
- Wound complications - bleeding, bruising, collections under the skin of blood (haematoma), pus (abscess), serous fluid (seroma), infection, wound breakdown, suture extrusion, sensory loss;
- Aesthetic complications - poor scars, stretched scars, raised scars (keloid or hypertrophic), contour irregularities, need for revisional procedure;
- Anaesthetic complications