Tissue expansion enables the body to grow extra skin for use in reconstructing almost any part of the body. Although tissue expansion is most commonly associated with breast reconstruction, it can also be used to repair skin damaged by birth defects, accidents or surgery, and in certain cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Lee B. Daniel is board certified in both general surgery and plastic surgery. He offers tissue expansion for men and women in need of reconstructive surgery. Together with his team at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Daniel takes the time to understand each patient’s needs and address them with a customized solution.
If you’d like to learn more about whether tissue expansion is right for you, please call 541-687-8900 or contact our office in Eugene today for more details or to schedule your consultation.
The first step in achieving the best results from tissue expansion is scheduling a pre-surgical consultation with Dr. Daniel. This is the ideal time to ask Dr. Daniel any questions you may have about tissue expansion and discuss your reconstruction goals.
Dr. Daniel will evaluate your condition to determine if you are a good candidate. Your age, skin condition and medical history can all be factors in determining if you will benefit from the procedure.
Dr. Daniel will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain medications. He will also let you know if he thinks you may be a better candidate for another type of reconstructive surgery instead.
In most cases, the initial tissue expansion operation lasts 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size and area of skin to be expanded. Dr. Daniel will begin by making a small incision next to the area of skin to be repaired, taking care to make the incision as inconspicuous as possible. He will then insert a silicone balloon expander in a pocket created beneath the skin. The expander includes a tiny tube and a self-sealing valve that allows the surgeon to gradually fill it with saline solution, causing the skin to stretch and grow.
Once the incision has healed, you’ll be asked to return to our office periodically so that the expander can be injected with additional saline. As the expander enlarges, your skin will continue to stretch.
When the skin has stretched enough to cover the affected area, you’ll have a second procedure to remove the expander and reposition the new tissue. In breast reconstruction, the surgery required to remove the expander and insert the permanent implant is relatively brief. More complex surgery to repair skin on the face or scalp will take longer, and may require more than one expansion sequence to complete.
How you feel after surgery depends on the extent and complexity of the procedure. The initial surgery to insert the expander causes most patients only temporary discomfort that can be controlled with medication.
Breast reconstruction patients whose tissue expansion is separate from breast removal can typically resume normal activity in 2 to 3 weeks. Most tissue expansion patients find they can keep up with their normal routine while the expander is in place. Following the second surgery, most patients are up and about within a week.
You may feel some minor discomfort each time saline is injected into the expander, but this usually lasts only an hour or two. The follow-up procedure to remove the expander and put the new tissue in place may create some temporary discomfort, but this, too, usually dissipates quickly and can be controlled with medication.
Following your tissue expansion, the treatment area should appear healed and whole. Because the procedure uses tissue from your own body to improve the treatment area, this method of reconstruction can produce results that look and feel very natural.
To learn more about your options for tissue expansion, please contact us online or call us today at 541-687-8900. Our plastic surgery practice is conveniently located near the Oakway Center.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Daniel is trusted by people who want a meticulous, deeply caring doctor.