What to Expect During Your Tissue Expander Fill Appointment

By: Courtney Floyd

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Implant breast reconstruction is the most commonly performed method of reconstruction in the US. For most patients it is performed as a  multiple-step procedure starting with tissue expanders.

The tissue expander is either placed at the time of a mastectomy or any time later.

The temporary implant is placed either below or above the pectoralis muscle. The expanders are usually partially filled at the time of the initial surgery. Further expansion is performed in the office until desired breast size is achieved. This expansion process can require several weeks, depending on the amount of expansion needed.

Here’s what you can expect during a “fill” appointment:

Once the expander is sufficiently filled, a second surgery is required to exchange the expander with the permanent breast implant.  

Have questions about tissue expanders or implant breast reconstruction?  Let us know in the comments below! 

4 Comments

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  • Mary Michelino

    Are expander fills in doctors office considered surgical procedures

    Reply
    • PRMA

      Good question Mary.  They are not considered surgical procedures.

      Reply
  • Linda gibbs

    Are you able to work the same day after getting fluid in the expanders?

    Reply
    • PRMA

      Every patient is different, but in most cases patients are able to return to work the same day as a fill appointment.

      Reply
PRMA Plastic Surgery