Can an Expander Flip on Its Own and if So How?

I recently had to have my expander replaced. My 1st surgeon who put the expander in relocated and I had to find another doctor to complete my breast reconstruction surgery. Upon finding a new surgeon she informed me that my expander had to be replaced due to it being inserted backwards or it had somehow flipped over. Upon changing the expander my surgeon informed me that the old expander was full of needle holes due to the 1st surgeon doing injections anywhere in the expander. Is this common?

Doctor Answers 4

Expander Issues

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It is very rare for expanders to change position, but it can happen.    Reconstruction is a process and each stage will get you closer to a more natural breast.   I wish a safe and healthy recovery.


Dr. Gill

Houston Plastic Surgeon

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If an expander flips inside a pocket then you have the potential to obviously fill it through the implant shell instead of the fill port.  Thuis is an unfortunate situation but I am happy that you found someone and it wast sorted out.  PLase be pateint and complete you journey through the breast reconstruction process.

Expander position

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A tissue expander can move/flip.   The good news - this is all behind you now.  Wishing you all the best with the remainder of your breast reconstruction journey.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Expanders Can Flip!

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Unfortunately tissue expanders don't always stay where we put them.  They can even flip over.  It sounds like you are back on track now.  Good luck with the rest of your breast reconstruction journey.

Michael Novia, MD (retired)
Olympia Plastic Surgeon

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.