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 :
Areas of scarring can be resurfaced with non scarred skin. This is used extensively for burns scars or areas of alopecia (no hair) on the scalp. The scalp skin can be expanded by 100% without thinning of hairs being noticeable.
Tissue expansion can also be used to resurface large areas in children who have large congenital naevi (birthmarks) e.g. the typical bathing trunk naevi. Usually multi stages operations are required.
It is also used in:
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