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Tissue expansion is a way to promote the growth of healthy supplements. Many skin problems are due to accidents, birth defects and some diseases that cause organ removal, such as mastectomy (breast removal). Fortunately, medicine has developed new techniques to help treat and repair damaged skin, such as tissue expansion .

Tissue Expander in Iran: the fact You Need to Know

There is a phenomenon of tissue expansion in the nature of the human body. For example, it is observed during pregnancy. Surgeons use this technique to treat and repair several conditions, such as breast reconstruction, burns, skin deformities, and skin loss, by helping the body create extra skin .

What is tissue expansion?

Tissue expansion is a relatively straightforward procedure that enables the body to "grow" extra skin for use in reconstructing almost any part of the body.A silicone balloon expander is inserted under the skin near the area to be repaired and then gradually filled with saline or carbon dioxide over time, causing the skin to stretch and grow. It is most commonly used for breast reconstruction following breast removal, but it's also used to repair skin damaged by birth defects, accidents, surgery and in certain cosmetic procedures.If your doctor is recommending tissue expansion, this will give you a basic understanding of the procedure – when it can help, how it's performed and what results you can expect. It can't answer all of your questions, however, since much depends on your individual circumstances. Please be sure to ask your surgeon if there is anything you don't understand about the procedure .

When is tissue expansion recommended? What are the benefits?

Tissue expansion to regions of the face, neck, arms, hands, and legs normally lead to excellent results. When skin thickness is greater, like on the back and torso, expansion is more difficult. Since healthy skin is the primary requirement, expansion is usually not an option for areas where the skin is severely damaged or scarred. Your surgeon will discuss your options with you. Tissue expansion allows for the growth of new skin. Without tissue expansion, other procedures are performed to use existing skin in other parts of the body for reconstruction. Using tissue expansion instead of existing skin, like flaps or skin grafts, usually leads to better outcomes. Since the skin remains connected to the same blood and nerve supply, unlike in most skin flap or skin graft procedures, there is less of a risk for the new skin to have side effects, including skin death. The grown skin is a better match cosmetically, having the same color, texture and hair qualities as the issue area. Scars are also often less visible because skin doesn't have to be moved from one area to another .

Who is a good candidate for tissue expansion?

Almost anyone in need of additional skin can benefit from tissue expansion -- from infants to elderly men and women .

What are the steps of a tissue expansion procedure?

In most cases, the initial operation will take one to two hours, depending on the size and area of skin to be expanded. Your surgeon will insert the silicone balloon expander in a pocket created beneath the skin. The expander includes a self-sealing valve or gas cylinder that allows the surgeon to gradually fill the expander with saline or carbon dioxide .

Expander enlarges
Once the incision has healed, you'll be asked to return to your surgeon's office periodically so that the expander can be filled. As the expander enlarges, your skin will stretch. In some people, this procedure can cause minor discomfort.  The expander is filled by inserting a needle into the self-sealing valve, which may be under the skin, or by using a remote dosage controller to fill the expander with carbon dioxide.

Secondary operation
When the skin has stretched enough to cover the affected area, you'll have a second operation to remove the expander and reposition the new tissue. In breast reconstruction, the surgery required to remove the expander and insert the permanent implant is relatively brief. More complex surgery to repair skin on the face or scalp will take longer and may require more than one expansion sequence to complete.

Example 1: Scalp
Tissue expansion is ideal for scalp repair because the stretched skin on the scalp retains normal hair growth. Most other body tissue does not grow hair to the same degree.

Example 2: Breast
A silicone balloon expander is inserted beneath the skin. Once in place, the expander is gradually filled over time. When the tissue has grown to the desired amount, the expander is removed. In breast reconstruction, a permanent implant is then inserted

Example 3: Arm
Expansion is also used to repair skin on the head and neck, hands, arms and legs.

Tissue expander complications and side effects

Complications of tissue proliferation are mostly simple and treatable. You may have a problem with the area where the balloon is located. The feeling of discomfort is often accompanied by pain that can be relieved with painkillers. Skin necrosis, implant extrusion, and wound opening are other side effects of tissue expansion . Sometimes, surgery can be very simple, requiring only one method of tissue expansion, and sometimes it requires more than one method to achieve the desired result. Tissue expansion can have significant benefits. This surgery, like any other surgery, has complications and risks. This type of surgery has complications that should be talked about. One of the most common concerns of this surgery is the use of a silicone expander under the skin that may rupture and some fluid may enter the body (salt leaks into the body). Although these expanders are well tested and carefully placed under the skin, there is still a risk of rupture and fluid leakage (1%). If fluid needs to leave the expander, a solution of water and salt (called saline) is used to fill the expander, because the solution is absorbable in the body and is not harmful.

What should I expect during my tissue expansion recovery?

After your surgery
How you feel after surgery depends on the extent and complexity of the procedure. The initial surgery to insert the expander causes most patients only temporary discomfort which can be controlled with medication prescribed by your physician.You may feel some minor discomfort each time saline is injected into the expander, but this usually lasts only an hour or two. The follow-up procedure to remove the expander and put the new tissue in place may create some temporary discomfort, but this too can be controlled with medication.

Getting back to normal
Again, how soon you resume your normal routine depends on the length, complexity and type of surgery you've had. For breast reconstruction patients, if tissue expansion is separate from breast removal, normal activity can resume in two to four days.Most tissue expansion patients find they can keep up with their normal routine while the expander is in place. Following the second surgery, most patients are up and about within a week.

Your new look
Generally, the results of tissue expansion are superior to other methods used to reconstruct or repair damaged skin. But keep in mind, the goal is improvement, not perfection. For most tissue expansion patients, the procedure dramatically improves their appearance and quality of life following surgery.If you're physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in your expectations, you'll probably be quite pleased with your new look.

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 .

Frequently Asked Questions About Tissue Expander Procedure

What can go wrong with tissue expanders?

The most common cause of tissue expander explantation was infection [85 women (52 percent)], followed by mastectomy flap necrosis, implant exposure or wound dehiscence, implant leak, deflation or rupture, seroma, pain, hematoma, and capsular contracture 

How long does tissue expander surgery take?

Tissue expander surgery usually takes about 2 hours.

How painful is tissue expansion?

You may experience minor discomfort for the following 12 to 24 hours after each tissue expansion. This discomfort usually subsides 2 to 3 days after each tissue expansion. The tissue expander may shift after the 1st or 2nd expansion.

Do implants feel better than expanders?

After the permanent implant has been placed you will immediately feel more comfortable than when the expander was in place. The tightness will decrease quickly as the implant settles into the pocket.

Can you exercise with tissue expanders?

If you have a tissue expander in (a temporary inflatable implant that stretches the skin to make room for the final implant), you can usually start gentle shoulder stretching exercises about 2 weeks after surgery once your mastectomy scar has started to heal.

How long do breast expanders take?

Depending on how much stretching is needed, the process of pumping up the expanders may take three to seven months. The expansion of the tissue may make your scars look bigger, but the final insertion or reconstruction surgery should remove this scar tissue

Are breast expanders safe?

The only problem with this method is that, when performing a chest MRI, the presence of a metallic object can reduce the quality of the image

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