Tissue Expansion The Woodlands
Tissue expansion is a highly useful reconstructive surgery technique that plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Gill performs for patients in his Houston practice who lack sufficient tissue for their reconstructive needs.
If You’re Considering Tissue Expansion
Tissue expansion techniques are not often performed independently of another reconstructive procedure as the goal of tissue expansion is to create excess tissue to cover or recreate a part of the body. Oftentimes, tissue expansion is used in cases such as:
- Breast reconstruction
- Repair birth defects
- Injuries or trauma
If you are to undergo a reconstructive procedure and lack the amount of extra skin necessary, Dr. Gill may use this procedure to create new skin for covering a defect.
In order to undergo this procedure, you should be a healthy nonsmoker, as this will aid in proper tissue expansion and improve skin elasticity and you should understand this process takes place over several procedures, not just one.
What to Expect from Surgery
For your initial tissue expansion procedure, you will be placed under a general anesthetic for one to two hours. In this procedure, Dr. Gill will place the balloon expander beneath the tissue that is to be stretched. After the appropriate location for the expander has been selected, Dr. Gill will make incisions and create a pocket for the expander below the skin. This expander, made of silicone, will then be gradually filled with saline, which will stretch the overlying skin. Dr. Gill will then close the incisions, leaving the expander and the fill valve beneath your skin.
Over a period of a few weeks, you will return to Dr. Gill’s office where he will perform follow-up procedures, further filling the expander with saline until the skin is adequately stretched. Once this has happened, you will be able to move forward in the reconstructive process.
Recovering from Tissue Expansion
After the expander is placed under your skin and it has been filled with saline, you are likely to experience discomfort and a tightening of the skin for a couple of hours. You should, however, be able to resume your routine two to four days after insertion of the expander. Depending on the reconstructive surgery to be performed, after the expander has adequately stretched the skin, your recovery time can vary greatly. Dr. Gill will be able to advise you about recovery steps.
To learn more about tissue expansion techniques to create skin for reconstructive surgery, we encourage you to contact the practice of plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Gill in Houston.