How Do You Fix Breast Tissue Expanders That Have Folded or Buckled After the First Fill of 50cc?

I had tissue expanders put in immediately after my mastectomy with 50 cc in each. Two months later one of the expanders has folded or buckled causing some inflammation around the breast. How can this be resolved?

Doctor Answers 3

Buckled expander or infection

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Do you have a folded expander or infection?  An exam in person sounds like it is necessary to figure this out for you.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Buckled expanders--where is your surgeon?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I am concerned by your short description of the problem. 50cc is a very small amount to start with in a breast reconstruction expander; I typically utilize as much as the mastectomy flaps would allow in order to avoid folds or wrinkles in the expander. In addition, a too-small pocket below your muscle can contribute to this concern.

But why are you not being expanded after two months? Perhaps chemo or radiation, but allowing a fold to cause tissue inflammation and thinning can jeopardize your entire reconstruction. You should see your surgeon. Perhaps starting expansion can help to stretch and unfold the expander. But after two months of healing, your scar around the expander is quite firm and non-elastic, and you may need another operation to fix this problem and even reinforce the thinned inflamed tissue above the fold (Strattice or equivalent ADM).

Go see your plastic surgeon immediately; this needs attention to salvage your reconstruction. Good luck and best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Problems after Tissue Expander Placement?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question.

Your situation is one that is best “taking care of” by your plastic surgeon in person. Online consultants can only speculate and potentially confuse issues.

Again, in person examination is critical to rule out serious complications and advise you accurately.

Best wishes.

You might also like...

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.