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Natural & Implant Reconstruction in South Carolina

Tissue Expansion Surgery

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we understand the journey women embark on, post-mastectomy. For patients who don't have enough tissue left for a flap-based reconstruction procedure or a Direct to Implant reconstruction, tissue expansion is an essential step. This process helps to prepare the body for a future permanent implant, paving the way for successful breast reconstruction with tissue expanders.

Tissue expansion enables the body to "grow" extra skin for use in breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. This cutting-edge surgical technique involves the use of a silicone balloon expander, which is strategically placed under the skin and gradually filled with saline during office visits. The skin is gently stretched and expanded to accommodate a permanent breast implant.

The skilled team at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, our skilled team is ready to guide you through the reconstruction process. Schedule your appointment today to consult with our experts and find out if tissue expansion surgery is the right choice for you.


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Understanding Tissue Expansion

Tissue expansion is a multi-step process that requires careful planning and management to ensure a successful outcome. Here is a detailed explanation of what you can expect throughout each stage:

  1. Initial Consultation: Your treatment journey begins with an initial consultation with one of our expert surgeons. During this appointment, your surgeon will evaluate your overall health, review your medical history, and discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure. They will also assess the quality of your skin and underlying tissues to determine if tissue expansion is the best approach for your specific circumstances.
  2. Surgical Placement: Next, the surgical placement of the breast tissue expander is scheduled. This procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will create a small incision in the chest area and carefully create a pocket either beneath the chest muscle (submuscular) or between the muscle and the skin (subcutaneous). The tissue expander, a temporary device resembling a deflated balloon, is then inserted into the pocket.
  3. Expansion Process: After a brief recovery period, the expansion phase begins. This involves gradually filling the tissue expander with saline solution during regular office visits. Over time, this controlled expansion puts gentle pressure on the surrounding skin and soft tissues, stretching them to create space for a future permanent breast implant.
  4. Monitoring and Adjustments: Throughout this process, you will have regular check-up appointments with your surgeon. They will assess your progress, monitor your comfort level, and make adjustments as necessary. The amount of saline injected during each visit will be determined based on your desired breast size and the capacity of your tissues to stretch.
  5. Permanent Implant Insertion: Once the desired expansion and soft tissue growth have been achieved, the breast reconstruction expanders are removed. During the same surgery, a permanent breast implant, either saline or silicone-based, is inserted into the newly created space. The surgeon will ensure proper positioning and symmetry to achieve a natural-looking breast contour.

How long this process takes varies for each patient and depends on how much the tissue needs to expand. Generally, the expansion phase can take up to several months, but your surgeon will provide a personalized estimation based on your specific circumstances.

Throughout your entire journey, your surgeon and the rest of our team will provide comprehensive guidance, education, and support to ensure the best possible outcome for your breast reconstruction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need to undergo tissue expansion?

The need for tissue expansion depends on how much tissue you already have available. If you have enough, you may be eligible for DTI breast reconstruction, which does not require a tissue expansion procedure. Our expert team will assess your individual case during your consultation and recommend the most appropriate option for you.

Can I choose what size my breasts will be after reconstruction?

Absolutely! Our talented surgeons will work with you to select the right implant size based on your body shape, preferences, and desired outcome. We understand that every individual is unique, and we strive to provide personalized solutions to meet your specific needs.

Does insurance cover tissue expansion surgery for breast reconstruction?

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we're proud to accept insurance plans for most major providers in our area. Thanks to the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), most group insurance plans that cover mastectomies are also required to cover breast reconstruction procedures, including tissue expansion surgery. We advise our patients to contact their insurance provider before scheduling an appointment to discuss coverage and costs. 

To learn more about what plans we accept, visit our Insurance page or contact us today!

How can I get started with the best breast reconstruction surgeons near me?

Starting your journey with The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction is as simple as picking up the phone or filling out our easy-to-use online form! Our experienced team is happy to answer any questions and help book your consultation with one of our top breast reconstruction specialists. Contact us to get started!

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