Tissue expansion is a procedure that allows the body to "grow" extra skin for use in other reconstructive procedures. Anyone in need of additional skin may benefit from tissue expansion. More commonly used for breast reconstruction following breast removal, tissue expansion may also be used to repair skin damaged by birth defects, injury, surgery, and in certain cosmetic procedures.
Your Albany Medical Center plastic surgeon will insert a silicone balloon expander under the skin near the area to be repaired. The balloon is then gradually filled with salt water over time, causing the skin to stretch and expand resulting in additional skin.
Compared to other methods used to reconstruct or repair damaged skin, tissue expansion is generally superior. Recuperation from tissue expansion depends on the complexity and type of surgery performed.