Ask the Doctor- Can I See an Image of An Expander Before Surgery? Is There a Metal in the Frame to Maintain the Shape”?

This week, Gail Lanter, CPC of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: Can I see a picture of the expander before it goes into the body?

Answer:  Absolutely! Thanks for your question Mary Lou. Tissue expanders come from a myriad of manufacturers in a wide variety of sizes; each with different shell styles and features. This photo shows two that we have on hand now as samples.

The one on the right with the tabs is by Natrelle and the smaller on the left with no tabs is from Mentor.   The magnetic disc in the middle of each is the fill area.   Are there specific questions you would like answered about breast reconstruction with tissue expanders.  We’re happy to help!

Question: Thank you for the picture of the two different tissue expanders. The expander that is on the left, that comes to a point- is there metal in the frame of it to keep it’s shape? Thank you again for the information.

Answer: No ma’am, there is no support system. Just a shell. Expanders like these start empty and are made to be replaced with permanent implants. The expansion process and saline within is what gives the shape. The only metal is in the magnetic disc used to locate the port during that process.
Hope that helps!

Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!