How long should a breast reconstruction tissue expander stay in?
Hi there! When I had my breast reconstruction after my mastectomy I had a tissue expander placed. They said that it would be there for six to eight weeks before I had surgery done and they would fill them slowly with saline.
My breast skin had less elasticity than my doctor expected so I actually ended up wearing mine for a little over nine weeks. My doctor explained that it was so that my skin on my chest didn’t split while I was expanding the tissue pocket.
I had a friend that only used the expander for six weeks because she didn’t have as much cell damage from radiation therapy.
I had breast reconstruction done, and I had the tissue expander in place for three to four months. The tissue expander prepared my skin for the final outcome. My plastic surgeon planned my tissue expansion to match the volume of the implants that I selected, and the implant matched my chest wall diameter and the cup size that I requested. My surgeon explained that I needed to be patient with the expansion process because the expanders were softening and preparing my breast tissue for my breast selection. I am thrilled with my new breasts. They are exactly what I requested!
After I had my mastectomy, I decided that I wanted to have implant reconstruction surgery. I was told that I would need to have an expander inserted to prepare the skin for the permanent implant. My surgeon and I discussed the volume of the implant that I would want. He said that the expander would be in place until the breast tissue was expanded and the pocket was the right size for the implant. I kept my expander in for about three months. I would return to my doctor's office ever two weeks to have the expander inflated. The process takes some time but is worth the wait. I couldn't be happier with my final implant results.