How long should a breast reconstruction tissue expander stay in?

How long will I have to wear a tissue expander in order to make enough room for my implants?


F, 55, California

Tags:woman age 45-54 silicone implants tissue expander

I had breast reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy, and because I had a significant amount of skin removed, I needed to have an expander placed in my breast to stretch the tissue and pectoralis muscle. The expander was placed under my muscle, which my doctor explained was the typical procedure. The expander was slowly inflated over the next few weeks, and it was removed after two months before my breast reconstruction surgery. I'm thrilled with the results that I achieved. The process was uncomfortable but tolerable, and now my breasts are comfortable and natural looking. The entire process saved my life and restored my appearance. I wish you the very best!

When I wore a tissue expander after my mastectomy, it was a lengthy process. I visited my doctor every couple of weeks, so he could add saline to my expander to slowly stretch my skin and muscles to accommodate my implants. The whole process took about eight weeks. My aunt, however, had a double mastectomy and radiation treatments, so it took much longer for her to have her tissue expander removed and replaced with breast implants. Her doctor had to wait until she finished radiation therapy and her chest was done healing--which took five months--before he removed the expander and put in implants. Your surgeon will decide how long you need to wear your expander, based on your treatment plan and how well your body recovers from your treatments. Delayed reconstruction is a process that you just need to be patient with.

I had to return to my doctor's office to increase the volume in the expanders every two weeks. The process was slow but worth it. It took four months for me to reach the volume I desired. I received my implant breast reconstruction at this time. I couldn't be happier with the results.

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.

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!

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.