Breast Implant After Mastectomy

Tissue expander and breast implant after mastectomy

To place an implant after mastectomy, the surgeon will use the same incision that was used to remove the breast tissue. The implant may be placed directly under the skin, but it is usually put under the chest muscle.

Often, before an implant is placed, a doctor will first place a balloon (or tissue expander) beneath the chest muscle. Saline is added to the expander every 1 to 2 weeks to help stretch the skin and muscle. This may take several months. When the muscle and skin are stretched enough, the expander is taken out and an implant is put in.

Current as of: August 22, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Douglas A. Stewart, MD, FRCPC - Medical Oncology
Laura S. Dominici, MD - Surgery, General Surgery, Oncology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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