Tissue expansion is a procedure whereby body tissues are expanded or stretched by the insertion of a tissue expander or balloon below the skin. The volume of the expander is increased weekly over a three month period stretching the tissue to twice or three times its original volume.
Tissue expansion is commonly used in breast reconstruction and we use this technique from time to time with Becker expanders – prostheses. These adjustable expander prostheses are initially over inflated and then maintained in that status for two to three months and then deflated by a small volume in order to get a more natural appearance.
Similarly tissue expansion may be used all over the body to stretch adjacent tissues to provide sufficient tissue to replace adjacent skin. This may result following a birth mark or other damage such as a burn.
An Example of Tissue Expansion is shown below.
Patient 1 - Tissue Expansion
Patient 2 - Breast Tissue Expansion
Actual patient of Mr Geoffrey Barnett is shown above. Patient images used with permission.