I Had a Bilateral Mastectomy and my Surgeon Suggests 550cc Expander Inflation

I Had a Bilateral Mastectomy and my Surgeon Suggests 550cc Expander Inflation so that my breasts arent too far apart. I am 5'2 and feel that breast will be too large. I do NOT want large breast in fact before my mastecomy I had a breast reduction and still felt by breast were too big at a C cup. What size will I be at 500cc or 550cc? His nurse also suggest that I keep expanding to 600cc. I dont think they are listening to me that I want to be porportionate but dont want large breast.

Doctor Answers 7

Breast reconstruction and expanders.

When you are having a breast reconstruction with expanders, you always have to over expand the tissue in order to get a soft, natural result.  If you're surgeon is planning to expand you to 550cc then he is probably planning to put in about a 500 cc implant which would probably give you a big "B" or small "C" breast depending on your body type.  The benefit of going through expansion is that you have control over the size and can tell your plastic surgeon that you feel you are big enough before you reach the 550 cc goal.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Mastectomy Reconstruction

The amount of expansion after a mastectomy allows you very good control of what size you want to be. Generally the amount of expansion planned is given as a range but often we over expand to get more tissue. The final size of the implant can then be adjusted to the full amount expansion of less. Also remember that  though a number sounds big, it often signifies a smaller breast because you no longer have any of your own breast tissue after the mastectomy. Let the doctor know once your expansion process gets to a size you are comfortable with and remember the number isn't as important as how the breast looks on your body.

Navinderdeep S. Nijher, MD
Ocala Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Breast Reconstruction

You need to ask the surgeon what size implant they are expecting to place in the space created by the 550cc expander.  This is a discussion you need to have with your surgeon in the very near future.  If you do not feel they are listening, then you need to communicate with them in a manner they will listen.  Make an appointment to have a conference with the surgeon and talk about this specifically.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast expanders

There are different issues at hand: Your surgeon probably looked for an expander where the base diameter fits the size of your breast pocket desired. The expander can have a low, medium  and "full" expansion size in a vertical direction. This maybe a 500 cc, 600 cc expander etc. The amount of Saline than injected will give you the actual  size and shape of your breasts and you can see and decide what "size" you want your reconstructed breasts to be. The amount of saline injected maybe much more or less than what you expect. With other words the final  "size" matters and not the " amount of saline" needed to achieve it.

Good luck and lots of patience.

Guido P. Gutter, MD
Evansville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Expansion Volume in Implant Reconstruction

It sounds as if you already have tissue expander implants.  In our practice, we generally allow patients to be in the "driver's seat" to determine the final fill volume of their expanders to achieve the cosmetic look they want to achieve.   On occasion, I may suggest a slight overfill/overexpansion to have a little more skin to facilitate a nicer more natural contour/shape.    To learn more about implant-based reconstruction or your other options, please visit our website dedicated to breast cancer reconstruction. 

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

I Had a Bilateral Mastectomy and my Surgeon Suggests 550cc Expander Inflation

To directly respond to just the question, Over expansion is done to help prevent capsular fibrosis and allow a softening effect IF possible. As your PS to discuss/explain this to you in person until you fully understand. Best of luck. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews


As you start the expansion, you will get to a size you like. Tell your surgeon this is the size that you want. It is not unusual to over expand to gain more tissue but when it is time to replace with implant remind your surgeon of the size you liked. He/She will be able to put the size implant you want

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.