My Expander Has a Leak, What Can Be Done for Proper Expanding?

One of my expander is leaking and everytime its expanded, it stays up for about a day and a half. Can I get a good stretch?

Doctor Answers 3

Tissue Expander leak

Based on what you describe, it sounds like you definitely have a significant leak.  If the "stretch" does not sustain past 1 or 2 days, then you will likely need a quick tissue expander replacement procedure.   Please visit with your plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Expander leak during the process of breast reconstruction

I am sorry to hear that but keep your spirits up it maybe a minor set back. If the leak was a small one and your expander retains most of the fluid you may still be able to continue the expansion at more frequent periods and may take more sessions. But since your expander is leaking at a high rate you have to exchange the expander which should be a very straight forward procedure which you could do under local anesthetic with sedation if needed (twilight anesthesia). 

Don't get discouraged!!!  

Good luck


May need a replacement

Sorry to hear that you're having problems with your expander. If your expander is unable to maintain it's volume, you will need to replace it. Occasionally, someone has a collection of fluid (seroma) that is in front of the expander. After an expansion, some of that fluid may come out, mimicking a leak. However, when that happens, you still maintain the volume of your expander. Sounds like you should speak to your surgeon about changing the expander.

David Yan, MD, FACS
Venice Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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