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What is a breast tissue expander?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
A breast tissue expander is often used to expand the skin of the breast to allow for a future permanent implant placement. After a mastectomy for breast cancer, it may be necessary to expand the breast with a temporary implant that has saline fluid injected into it over 6 to 8 weeks. Each week will allow for a larger pocket by stretching of the overlying tissue and finally a permanent silicone gel implant exchanged. 
Heather L. Karu, MD
Plastic Surgery
A breast expander is a necessary part of a breast reconstruction involving implants. In this video, Dr. Heather Karu talks about how the expander is used and how it solves problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.