How Much Stretching Needed to Regain Normal Breast Size?

I had a double mastectomy in August 2005. I still have tissue expanders in due to a series of events that made it impossible to get to and from appointments. I lost all tissue and was going to get the Mentor cohesive gel and was in the study. I don't know if I am still elligable now due to the length of time that has passed, though. Either way, I would like to know, how large do I have to stretch to regain my normal breast size?

Doctor Answers 6

You need a consult!

Despite having expanders you can most likely have any form of breast reconstruction you simply need to be examined.

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.

Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

Expansion and final resultq

Without an exam it is really difficult to say hoe much stretch you would need to achieve your goal. This is decided in exam.  Usually the expander is overfilled before an implant is placed.

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

Stretching to regain normal breast size


It depends on the amount of saline that your expanders will hold and to some degree the size of breast you desire after the reconstruction is complete. I would revisit with your plastic surgeon to pick the process back up. Silicone implants have been now approved by the FDA therefore you can still have a permanent reconstruction with silicone implants.

Best wishes.

Tissue expander breast reconstruction

It is unfortunate that you were unable to accomplish reconstruction earlier. You would be well served to make an appointment with your plastic surgeon to evaluate where you are now, discuss your goals, and formulate a new plan for reconstruction.

Through that process you will get further information about the amount of expansion fluid to help you reach your goals. Good luck and I hope you get to enjoy the final results.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Adequate size of breast sizers?

There is no way to know this without reviewing your records. Generally speaking each cup size would be about 150-200cc.

Important factors to consider are:

  1. Size of breasts
  2. Shape of breasts
  3. Cup size
  4. Band width
  5. Weight of mastectomy specimen
  6. Dimensions of skin paddle on mastectomy specimen

There are many other factor to consider when reconstructing the breast.

We usually overexpand in an effort to create s soemewhat more natural breast that looks more like a tear drop,

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Expanders helpful to judge permanent implant size

Since expanders are generally chosen to be expanded close to your target size, it is relatively easy to judge when you have attanthe size you want. From the sound of it, you did not even have the expanders inflated. You are still eligible to get the cohesive gel implants.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.