Tissue expansion is a method that exploits the elasticity of the skin to obtain fabric in the required amount to reconstruct the affected area. It is effected by the insertion under the skin of a balloon provided with a valve, which is inflated with water (saline solution) gradually over time and that relaxes the tissues overlying it.
Tissue expansion is based on the principle, scientifically it is proven, that a slight but steady voltage induces the growth of tissue, as does the abdomen prompted by the growth of ‘uterus during pregnancy. In addition to removing scars and unsightly stains, tissue expanders can be used for reconstructing breasts after mastectomy and reconstruction operations in parts of the face, such as lips and eyelids.
Advantages and disadvantages
Numerous are the advantages of this method. First of all the possibility to have with identical characteristics to the fabric to be repaired (thickness, color, presence or absence of hairs, etc.).
The disadvantages are due to the need of a double intervention and the difficulty in camouflage of the device during the filling phase. In fact, if in the salience breast reconstruction is what the patient wants, in other interventions can be an important management issue for the common life of relationship.
All surgeries carry with them a minimum of unpredictability and risk
Tissue expansion, like any surgical procedure carries with it the risk of complications. The most common is that the device can break or that the valve can lose the injected liquid. This occurrence did not however have any danger to the patient’s health.
Another possible complication is that the infection can also force the temporary removal of the expander.
preparation for surgery
It’s a good idea, starting with the week before the intervention, do not hire Ac. Acetyl salicylic acid (aspirin) to prevent blood clotting problems, and for smokers to abstain for at least 4 weeks (two before and two after the operation).
If you are coming off an infection or an illness would be prudent to postpone the surgery.
The procedure varies depending on the location of the expander and is performed on an inpatient basis and with two surgical times. The first time may take 1 to 2 hours depending on the size of the expander and the area to be treated. It runs an incision in no nearby destination area which then will have to be repaired and it sets up a pocket which is usually subfascial. Already operative when you place a first amount of liquid into the device through the valve that can be incorporated to it or connected with a small tube. In the following weeks, in the clinic, it will proceed to gradually fill the expander until the desired expansion is reached. The second operation involves the removal of the expander, again through the same incision of the first responders and the remodeling of the flap to the area to rebuild.
in rebuilding the breast expander removal is followed by the installation of the permanent prosthesis.
You can proceed both with a combined local anesthesia to sedation that with general anesthesia. The choice is related to the size of the intervention to be performed and must be discussed case by case.
The pain in the postoperative is clearly linked to the size of the intervention immediately, but in any case the hassles are well controlled by drug therapy. A sense of tension only temporary and very slight entity is the rule regarding the fills.
Also in this case the recovery is related to the size of the intervention immediately. In general one we can say that still few days are sufficient to start the normal activity.