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A 52-year-old female asked:

I had a breast reconstruction, the implant was left in for 11 months, i am small breasted, why would the surgeons leave it in for so long if no probs?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Tuma
Plastic Surgery 25 years experience
Tissue expander: If you are asking about the tissue expander, there are many reasons to leave the expander for that long. They include chemotherapy, radiation, and tissue response to expansion. Speak with ur surgeon.
Dr. Robert Whitfield
Specializes in Plastic Surgery
Breast cancer: A tiiue expander is a device that is meant to be placed at the time of immediate breast reconstruction. This type of implant is meant to be removed. There is not a specific time period before it is removed and a permanent implant is placed. The timing of removal and replacement is dictated by the expansion process, usually 3 to 4 months of post expansion healing followed by removal and replacement.
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Plastic Surgery 19 years experience
Depends: Breast implants are usually left in permanently when used for breast reconstruction (and for augmentation, for that matter). If you are referring to a breast tissue expander, your surgeon may have specific reasons why the expander was left in place for so long prior to exchanging it for a permanent implant. Ask him/her.
Dr. David Levens
Plastic Surgery 39 years experience
It is OK: Timing of breast tissue expansion in reconstruction varies. Decisions on timing are dependent on several factors including how you are feeling/healing and potential plans for postoperative chemotherapy and/or radiation. Sometimes expansion is delayed for months which can be quite normal. Although intended to be temporary devices, many are left in for many months without a problem.

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Last updated Apr 7, 2015

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