Breast reconstruction using tissue expanders and implants has been performed for over 30 years. Expanders are used to gently stretch remaining chest tissue after a mastectomy to make room for an implant. Using an implant during reconstruction will restore the look of your pre-mastectomy chest.
During surgery, a tissue expander made from elastic silicone rubber is placed under the skin of the chest. Over time, the expander is filled with sterile saline. The filling process will require visits to your surgeon’s office over four to six months. As the expander is filled, the overlying tissues expand. When the expander is filled, you will have a procedure during which it will be removed and replaced with a breast implant.