Long Beach Tissue Expansion
Southern California Plastic Surgery Group
Tissue expansion allows you to grow your own skin for reconstruction procedures. This technique can be used on almost any part of the body and facilitates more effective reconstruction, faster healing, and less scarring than other methods such as grafting.
Skin expansion is often used in breast reconstruction and reconstruction of the scalp, face, neck, hands, arms, and legs. It may not be appropriate for the back or torso.
How it works
A balloon expander is inserted under the skin close to the area that is being reconstructed. The balloon is gradually filled with salt water over several sessions, causing the skin to stretch and grow to accommodate it.
Since the skin is from the same area of the body as the reconstruction, it will be the right color, texture, and thickness. This is particularly good for scalp repair because it also means that the hair can continue to grow normally.
The skin also remains attached to its nerves and blood supply, significantly reducing the risk of it dying off or losing sensation.
The end result is a more seamless reconstruction, often with less scarring and with a better likelihood for success.
Skin expansion takes longer than some other reconstruction techniques, because it takes time to grow your skin. The results, however, are far superior.
More than one surgery
The first surgery is used to insert the balloon expander. After the new skin has grown, the expander is removed and the new skin is repositioned in a second surgery. Complex reconstruction may require more than one expansion sequence.
Get more familiar with tissue expansion by viewing our Before and After Gallery.
Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Hicks in Beverly Hills, Long Beach, or Los Angeles, California, to determine if you are a good candidate for tissue expansion. During your consultation Dr. Hicks will evaluate your reconstructive needs and desired results, explain all your treatment options, discuss the outcome you can realistically expect, and answer any questions you may have.