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|Mastectomy with Tissue Expander
Questions about Mastectomy with Tissue Expander.
|Asked||Publicly Submitted Question|
|1/9/2012||I'm scheduled to have unilateral mastectomy with tissue expander placed on Jan 26, 2012. The TE will stay in for the duration of chemo, and possibly radiation (this is unknown until after pathology from mastectomy). I have two questions: 1. What are my statistical risks for complications with TE during chemo, being 44 yrs old and in good health (with exception of cancer). 2. What are the best ways to keep pain and discomfort from TE to a minimum? |
|Replied||JHU's Breast Center Reply|
|1/9/2012||It is unusual for there to be a problem with a tissue expander during chemo. The key is good aseptic technique (handwashing for example) when you first come home with the drain and incisional care. Women who are diabetics have a higher risk of infection than others. women with known poor circulation also can have healing problems. Given your comment about being healthy, that doesn't sound like you!|
The tissue expander will be inserted more than likely under the muscle. The first week to 10 days is the time frame that it will primarily be uncomfortable. gradual inflation usually works best instead of trying to inflate it fast which stretches the muscle a lot and causes what feels like a Charlie Horse in the chest muscle.
If radiation is needed, then talk with the plastic surgeon about potentially other final reconstruction options other than implants. Implants and radiation, no matter how much time there is between getting these treatments, doesn't usually go well together causing over time the implant to get scar tissue around it and become hard as well as migrate up the chest. flaps-- DIEP flap for example-- doesn't cause this problem. hold tight to your muscles. today women don't have to sacrifice their muscles to get a nicely rebuilt breast. if you do end up needing radiation and want to see us regarding permanent reconstruction options just call 443-287-2778. the tissue expander is the right device to take the radiation hit. it then serves as a space holder in essence for a more permanent flap reconstruction to be done later, usually 6-8 months post radiation.
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