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Is expanders a good choice before flap or implant decision.

beebee22 Member Posts: 45

HI EVERYONE, anyone in my position before? I am awaiting genetic test results and biopsy results on right breast and my left is diagnosed with DCIS in which mastectomy + DIEP FLAP or silicon is possible. [updates: genetic test pending, Right breast biopsy is benign, not doing preventive mastectomy].

Sorry, I have amended my content to fit my current situation better:

I decided to have a mastectomy with DIEP FLAP now. Since there is a good chance with no radiation afterward and my BS is aiming for skin and nipple-sparing, I think I want to have ONE surgery to do both. Anyone has the same experience before and they choose to go for a 2-stage reconstruction - mastectomy first with an expander and then reconstruction 3-6 months later?

Thank you!


  • ratherbesailing
    ratherbesailing Member Posts: 118
    edited May 2022

    Hi beebee -

    Having tissue expanders placed at the time of mastectomy is quite common. The expanders are placed with a minimal amount of saline, then over a period of weeks, more saline is slowly added through a port in the expander to make the breast area bigger. The idea is to stretch the breast skin so that it would cover an implant (or autologous tissue in the case of DIEP.) Think of them as temporary implants to prepare you for final reconstruction surgery.

  • beebee22
    beebee22 Member Posts: 45
    edited May 2022

    Thanks @ratherbesailing. I am just thinking may be ONE surgery is better in my situation, I don't need radiation and I don't need a bigger boob, still debating within myself given the choice of 1 stage or 2 stages, of course, some benefits of 2-stage given, E.g. shorter recovery for the 1st one, lower risk of infections since the operation time is significantly reduced.