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What is the recovery after a breast tissue expander insertion?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
Normal recovery after a tissue expander placed in the breast is between 6-8 weeks. The first 72 hours will be the most painful with muscle stretch. Pain medications and muscle relaxants combined with ice compression may be helpful. As the tissue stretches each week, the pain should gradualy resolve. 
Tara Whitworth
Nursing
Breast tissue expander insertion surgery takes place in a hospital setting because you will need to stay overnight. Once you have recovered from the initial surgery, which is usually a few weeks, you will need to return to your surgeon’s office for periodic fill ups. A nurse will begin gradually filling up your expander with saline over several weeks or months. You may feel some discomfort during the fill ups as the muscle begins to stretch. Once the desired size is reached, you will go back to surgery to have the expander removed and replaced with a permanent implant.

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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.