Tissue Expansion

Tissue expansion with breast implantation is a form of breast reconstruction technique commonly used by Long Island Plastic Surgical Group plastic and reconstructive surgeons when our patients do not have enough skin to support typical breast reconstruction procedures following a mastectomy. The technique involves using the patient’s remaining skin in combination with a breast implant to create the new breast. As a two-step procedure, tissue expansion entails the use of skin expanders to create a breast pocket, followed by the placement of a breast implant. Once the implant has been placed and time has been allowed for healing, nipple reconstruction can be performed to create a beautiful, natural-looking new breast.

In an effort to create the best results possible, our surgeons strive to develop a collaborative approach to the entire breast treatment and reconstruction plan by involving our patients in the decision-making process, as well as their breast surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, and all other physicians involved in their treatment. To further support the success of seamless reconstruction results, our LIPSG surgeons employ oncoplastic incisions to limit the effects of scars resulting from the procedures to create natural-looking breasts.

As a center of “Excellence” within LIPSG, our breast reconstruction center is overseen by plastic and reconstructive surgeons who are leaders in the field, many of whom have been specialty-trained at some of the most respected cancer reconstruction centers in the world, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Our surgeons have performed more than 10,000 breast reconstruction procedures, and are highly skilled in the full range of breast reconstruction techniques.

At Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, we understand the physical and emotional toll patients can experience after losing one or both breasts due to mastectomy or injury, and we are here to help each patient through this next step in toward recovery.

The following information provides details concerning Implant Reconstruction with the Tissue Expansion and its role in breast reconstruction from our Breast Reconstruction Surgery Center. Please contact LIPSG to schedule a consultation with one our surgeons to discuss the breast reconstruction process and address any and all questions concerning the procedure as a whole, as well as tissue expansion and breast implantation, at our Long Island and Manhattan, New York-area facility.

Implant Reconstruction with Tissue Expansion

Tissue expansion involves the rebuilding of the breast by expanding the remaining skin following a mastectomy or injury. The insertion of the tissue expander can often be done during the mastectomy, working in conjunction with our patient’s breast surgeon. The procedure involves the placement of a small, silicone balloon just under the surface of the skin, and then the injection of a saline solution into the balloon in a number of sessions over a period of several months to continue to gradually expand the skin. After the initial surgery to place the tissue expander, the progressive expander injections can typically take place in a quick procedure in the convenience of one of our 5 offices, and only lasts about 10 to 15 minutes.

Over time, the balloon will expand the skin, ultimately creating a breast mound and a pocket to house an implant. After the skin has grown sufficiently to accommodate the implant, the balloon expander is removed and the breast implant is placed to create the breast mound permanently.

Breast Implant Placement

In the second operational phase of Tissue Expansion breast reconstruction, a saline or silicone breast implant is placed. During this procedure, the tissue expander is removed, and our LIPSG plastic surgeon will replace it with the implant. The exact type, shape, and size of the breast implant will be decided by our patients and surgeons. After the implant has been placed, the incisions are closed and the recovery process begins. Once the breast has healed properly, our surgeon can reconstruct the nipple to complete the breast reconstruction with results that look as natural as possible.

As an additional option to improve the effectiveness and possibly alleviate the need for a separate procedure, the Tissue Expansion breast reconstruction method can be performed during a mastectomy. However, for our patients who have opted for delayed reconstruction, the tissue expansion method can just as easily be performed following the recovery period for the initial reconstruction procedure.

Direct-to-Implant Breast Reconstruction

In some cases, patients have enough skin left in the breast area following a mastectomy to allow for the insertion of a breast implant without the need for tissue expansion. In Direct-to-Implant breast reconstruction, the implant can be placed inside the remaining skin immediately following a mastectomy, therefore does not require multiple treatment sessions to expand the skin in order to accommodate the implant. While our surgeons and patients will discuss every breast reconstruction option available, the direct-to-implant method is dependent on the amount of skin remaining after the initial breast reconstruction procedure.

Learn more about Direct-To-Implant breast augmentation.

Ready for the Consultation?

Plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group are dedicated to finding the best technique for each of our patients based on body type and desired results. Our doctors are experts in their fields, and our patients can rely on our entire team to work to support them throughout the entire process as we pursue the best fit for each patient’s needs. As one option for breast reconstruction, Tissue Expansion has provided patients with natural-looking new breasts that enhance their appearance, as well as their self-esteem. Please contact the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group for a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons. We will be happy to answer all questions, address any concerns, and discuss all aspects of Tissue Expansion breast reconstruction and how our surgeons can help our patients during this arduous process while ensuring the mutual expectations and goals are achieved.