What Are The Implications For The Position Of My Final Implants If One Tissue Expander Is Lower Than Other?

Doctor Answers 5

Tissue Expander Asymmetry

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Fortunately, a lot of revision in the shape of the breast pocket can be done at your 2nd stage when you have the tissue expanders removed and implants placed. Sometimes taking some additional skin from one side or the other at the time of your implant switch can also improve symmetry. More often than not, there is some asymmetry between your breasts after the tissue expanders are placed due to variations in the size of the pocket made under your muscle, thickness of the remaining skin and subcutaneous tissue, as well as differences in the size of your breasts to start off with. Remember that expanders are mostly just functional to create space - the implants are a lot softer and more forgiving in terms of their shape.

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Implant position can be adjusted at second stage reconstruction

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The pockets can be altered when the expanders are removed and the permanent implants are placed. My personal opinion is that the use of Alloderm provides a more secure pocket for the expander and minimizes the need for second stage adjustments, and often helps avoid the need for an expander at all (called "direct to implant" reconstruction.)

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast Reconstruction Assymetry

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The position of the implant reconstruction on the chest wall can be adjusted during the 2nd stage expander to implant procedure.    With breast reconstruction, the 2nd stage allows the surgeon to achieve better symmetry and give more shape to the reconstruction.  

I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

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Implants and tissue expanders

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The breast fold can be adjusted at the time of exchange of your tissue expanders for implants.  Discuss this with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Position of final implants related to position of tissue expander.

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If your tissue expanders were placed at the time of the mastectomy it is sometimes difficult to get them at exactly the same spot.  Most surgeons are adept at adjusting the pocket at the time of permanent implant placement to get better symmetry.

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.