I Am 3 Months Post Bilateral Mastectomy and my Expanders Are Under my Arms? (photo)

I am having the existing expanders removed & replaced on Feb 5th 2013. The more I think about this the more upset I get. My PS actually blamed me for this happening, said he told me not to lift anything heavier than a comb or brush. I was very careful, but I live alone and don't have any family support and don't like asking for help. I re-read the discharge paperwork and it said you could go back to work after 10 days. I was careful for 3 wks & then they started moving. Does this happen a lot

Doctor Answers 4

Expanders can move

Thanks for sending your picture with your question. This is very frustrating for the surgeon and the patient. At the end of every procedure we try to make sure that everything is "perfect". sometimes with the healing process, one side may be different than the other. This is not necessarily the fault of the surgeon or patient. In looking at your picture, it appears that your expander is very wide. Your surgeon may have been trying to provide you with the opportunity to place a large implant that was proportional to your frame. To do so means selectin a large expander. On a positive note, the pocket can often be modified to narrow the base diameter of the "footprint" of the new implant. Also the implant is very soft compared to the expander and will not protrude to the same extent. Hang in there!

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breast reconstruction

The expanders may have slipped to the arm pit because of the large area of dissection. But when putting the expanders, one can control the pockets with several steps taken during surgery to prevent displaced expander.

. There is nothing you have done to cause this.

Unfortunately you need another surgery, hopefully all will go well and procced to full breast reconstruction and you will be happy

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

Breast reconstruction

These cases are always difficult.  I am sorry you had this problem.

Three basic forms of breast reconstruction exist. You can use your own tissue, implants or a combination of the previous two techniques. Your own tissue can be used in the form of the DIEP flap, PAP flap, SGAP flap or fat grafting. Implants can be done in one stage or two stage. Two stage reconstructions are started by placing expanders at the time of mastectomy. Once they expanders are placed they are able to be inflated as determined by wound healing. The final time consists of combining any of the above techniques.

If you are interested in being see in Austin please give us a call. I know this is a difficult time for you. The majority of my practice is devoted to reconstruction for women with breast cancer or who are BRCA+

Expanders and implants

Sometimes the expanders can displace. they may need to be repositioned to provide the best expansion.  Best to review with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.