Expander and Prosthesis

The Procedure

Breast reconstruction with skin expander and prosthesis is always carried out in two surgical stages, i.e. "delayed" reconstruction. First stage starts in the operative room, subsequently to the removal of the diseased breast by the general surgeon, and entails the insertion of an expander under the pectoralis major, performed by the plastic surgeon. It is a kind of empty prosthesis that is later filled with saline solution injections in a rate of 10% of its final volume. The filling is performed with a thin needle inserted into a subcutaneous valve, during several outpatient sessions. The progressive increase of the expander recreates, under the pectoralis, the space to locate the definitive prosthesis and contemporarily it slowly expands the thoracic skin that will replace the breast envelope. Few months later the patient will go back to surgery for the replacement with a definitive prosthesis. The Nipple and Areola complex will be reconstructed in a later stage when the prosthesis has settled.

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Redazione Barbara Fabiani