Tissue Expander in Iran: All You Need to Know
Tissue expansion phenomenon exists in the nature of the human body. For example, it is observed during pregnancy. The surgeons use this technique in treating and repairing several conditions such as breast reconstruction, burns, skin deformities, and skin loss by helping the body make additional skin.
What is tissue expander procedure?
Tissue expander is a simple and common procedure used in plastic and reconstruction surgery, in which a silicon balloon is placed under the skin to help grow additional skin that can be used at later stages to treat or repair the skin of any part of the body.
What is tissue expander used for?
It is used as a preliminary procedure before reconstructive surgeries such as:
- Breast reconstruction after breast resection (mastectomy).
- After resecting wide ranges of skin in the case of skin cancer.
- The treatment of large burns.
- Repairing the distorted skin in the case of congenital defects.
- Baldness treatment.
Who makes a candidate for tissue expander?
If you have a condition that requires additional skin to treat deformities whether congenital or caused by an incidence or a previous surgery, then you are considered as a candidate for tissue expander procedure. This surgery can be done for all ages from babies to older men and women.
This surgical procedure is widely used for breast reconstruction, mainly after breast resection, when there is not enough skin to place a permanent breast implant and restore the natural appearance of the breasts.
Tissue expander is also an option to repair or replace the scalp. Due to the growth of hair in this area, it is difficult to replace the skin from other parts of the body.
In general, tissue expansion technique (tissue expander) has excellent results and it is used when some areas of the face, neck, breast, arms and legs need to be reconstructed.
It is somewhat more difficult to expand the tissue on the waist or other areas of the body that have thick skin. If the area is severely damaged or scarred, the tissue expansion technique is usually not suitable because there is no healthy skin to expand the tissue.
How do I know if tissue expander is suitable for me?
During the first consultation, the surgeon examines the patient. The patient’s age, skin condition, medical history and other factors are checked to help the surgeon obtain the correct information for this surgery.
The diseases you previously suffered from and their effect on the success of the procedure are another factors that determine whether tissue expander is the best solution for your condition or not.
The patient’s flexibility, patience and endurance are also very important in this surgical method. Before performing this technique, talk to your surgeon about your expectations and goals and get a comprehensive view of the surgery.
Before tissue expander procedure
You have to do the following before undergoing tissue expander procedure:
- Inform the doctor if you are on any kind of medication.
- Inform the doctor if you are allergic to any medical substance.
- Quit smoking and alcohol for at least two weeks before and after the procedure because they negatively affect the quality of new tissues and recovery.
- On the surgery day, you have to be accompanied by someone who can drive you home and possibly can stay with you overnight.
How tissue expander is performed?
Tissue expander procedure takes from one to two hours. Of course, the surgery period depends on the size and the area to be expanded. Here are the steps of tissue expander procedure:
- Anesthesia and surgical incision: the procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the desired area.
- Inserting the tissue expander: the doctor inserts a silicone balloon under the skin. This expander has a cylinder or a valve that allows the surgeon to gradually fill the balloon with saline or carbon dioxide, which causes the tissues to expand.
- Tissue expansion: after the healing of the wound, the surgeon injects the saline or carbon dioxide bit by bit at determined time intervals. The tissues expand gradually along with the injecting, making the skin expand.
After that, the doctor performs a secondary operation in which he/she prepares the new tissues for the treatment of the defected part.
Tissue expander after mastectomy
After breast resection, a tissue expander is placed under the pectoralis major. The tissue expander is then expanded by filling it with saline or carbon dioxide until it reaches the desirable sup size of the breast. After that, the expander can be removed and replaced with breast implants through a secondary surgical operation.
Tissue expander for treating skin burn scars
Some burns weaken the generative function in the skin. In this case, the skin can no longer repair itself. As an alternative, we use skin grafts or flaps to alter the tissues of the scar.
After tissue expander
This operation may cause some fatigue and pain. However, this can be controlled by painkillers.
Each time the saline solution is injected, the person is likely to experience mild pain and discomfort that lasts for one to two hours. Subsequent surgery to remove the expander and insert new tissue may cause temporary pain, which can also be controlled with painkillers.
There are several instructions the surgeon will give you after tissue expander procedure for the following:
- How to take care of the surgical sites.
- The medications that you should take after the procedure.
- When to go to the doctor for a checkup.
The recovery period after tissue expander
The recovery period depends on two things:
- The size of the surgery (the amount of skin involved).
- The complexity and type of tissue expander procedure.
In simple cases, the recovery period is about 7 days. However, in the complicated conditions, the recovery period might take longer than a week.
For breast reconstruction, if tissue expander surgery and breast removal surgery are not performed at the same time, the patient can return to daily activities within two to four days.
Many patients undergoing tissue expander surgery can perform their daily activities while the expander is in the area. However, after the secondary surgery, a week is needed to restore the patient’s health.
Benefits of tissue expander procedure
Until a few years ago, surgeons used skin flaps and skin grafts to repair damaged tissue. However, with the technique of tissue expansion, many benefits can be seen:
- The color and texture are almost uniform, and the quality of the skin is the same in terms of hair growth ability.
- Because the skin, blood and nerves belong to the patient, the skin tissue is less likely to be destroyed.
- Because there is no need to move the skin to another area, the scar or suture is less visible.
Tissue expander complications and side effects
The complications of tissue expander are mostly simple and treatable.
You might experience some disturbance in the area that contains the balloon. The feelings of disturbance are often accompanied with pain, which can be relieved by painkillers.
Skin necrosis, implant extrusion, and wound dehiscence are some other side effects of tissue expander.
Sometimes, the surgery can be very simple that it only requires one tissue expander procedure, and sometimes it requires more than one to reach the desirable result.
Tissue expansion can have important advantages. Like any other surgery, this surgery has complications and risks. There are complications associated with this type of surgery that need to be discussed.
One of the most common concerns of this surgery is the use of a silicone expander under the skin, which may rupture and some of the fluid may enter the body (saline leaks into the body).
Although these expanders are well tested and carefully placed under the skin, there is still a possibility of rupture and fluid leakage (1%). If fluid needs to be expelled from the expander, a solution of water and salt (called saline) is used to fill the expander, because the solution can be absorbed by the body and is not harmful.
Tissue expanders and breast implants
Tissue expanders are empty breast implants. They are placed temporarily to stretch the skin and enlarge the breast to the desired cup size before the placement of the permanent breast implant.
New appearance after tissue expander surgery
In general, the result of tissue expander surgery is better than other methods of repairing or reconstructing damaged skin. But keep in mind that the purpose of this surgery is to improve the appearance of the skin and not to create a perfect and ideal appearance.
Patients undergoing this surgery should know that this surgery significantly improves the appearance of the body and the quality of life. If the patient is physically fit, mentally stable, and has realistic goals for surgery, he/she will be satisfied with his/her new appearance.
The cost of tissue expander in Iran
Iran offers successful surgeries performed by professional doctors and surgeons with reasonable and cheaper costs compared to the costs in other countries that deliver similar results. For example, the cost of tissue expander in America is about $3,400 without considering the fees of anesthesiologists, hospital or pre-op medical tests. This is while the cost of tissue expander in Iran is about $2,000 including all the mentioned fees and costs.
How to arrange undergoing tissue expander in Iran?
Arranging to have a surgical procedure in a foreign country is a tough task for you, especially if you do not know anybody there. However, AriaMedTour help you simplify this task by offering a wide set of services such as free online consultation, suggesting the right surgeon, airport pick up, hotel reservation, interpretation, arranging medical appointments, SIM card and internet in addition to many more services. All this is provided to you with reasonable and affordable prices.
To get a free consultation about tissue expander in Iran with AriaMedTour, hit the ‘free quote’ button or just send your request to us via WhatsApp. AriaMedTour specialists are 24/7 available.