Expander Reconstruction


  • Women who have had a mastectomy and are missing breast tissue and some skin will benefit from reconstruction using an expander. 

Intended Results 

  • A reconstructed breast that looks as natural as possible is our goal. It is our intention to reconstruct a result that makes a patient look symmetrical in clothes or a bra and feel reasonably comfortable without clothes.


  • During the first operation, an expander is placed under the skin and chest muscles. In the office, saline is injected into the expander over a period of weeks or months using a “fill port.” The overlying skin expands with continued filling. When the desired amount of skin is present, the expansion process is terminated.
  • In the second procedure, the expander is removed and a silicone or saline implant is inserted in its place.
  • If necessary, nipple areolar reconstruction may complement this procedure at a later date.

Healing Process

  • Initial discomfort is controlled with oral medication.
  • Sutures are usually removed in 7 to 10 days.
  • Light activities may be resumed as tolerated. Aerobic activities can be started 3 weeks following either the first or second stage procedure. 

Additional Enhancement

  • Enlarging, reducing, or lifting the opposite breast may be appropriate to complement the reconstructed breast.
  • Breast reconstruction may also consist of placement of an implant only if adequate skin is present.
  • Dr. Normington will determine the option best for you. 

Insurance Guidelines
Breast reconstruction is almost always covered by insurance.

Note: The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.