Tissue expansion for breast reconstruction: Methods and techniques

Nicolò Bertozzi, Marianna Pesce, Pier Luigi Santi, Edoardo Raposio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective In this work, the authors review recent data on the different methods and techniques of TE/implant-based reconstruction to determine the complication profiles and the advantages and disadvantages of the different techniques. This information will be valuable for surgeons performing breast reconstructions. Materials and methods A thorough literature review was conducted by the authors concerning the current strategy of tissue expander (TE)/implant-based breast reconstruction following breast cancer surgery. Results Loss of the breast can strongly affect a woman's personal and social life while breast reconstruction reduces the sense of mutilation felt by women after a mastectomy, and provides psychosocial as well as aesthetic benefits. TE/implant-based reconstruction is the most common breast reconstructive strategy, constituting almost 65% of all breast reconstructions in the US. Although numerous studies have been published on various aspects of alloplastic breast reconstructions, most studies are single-center observations. No evidence-based guidelines are available as yet. Conventional TE/implant-based reconstruction can be performed as a two-stage procedure either in the immediate or delayed setting. Moreover, the adjunctive use of acellular dermal matrix further broadened the alloplastic breast reconstruction indication and also enhanced aesthetic outcomes. Conclusions TE/implant-based reconstruction has proved to be a safe, cost-effective, and reliable technique that can be performed in women with various comorbidities. Short operative time, fast recovery, and absence of donor site morbidity are other advantages over autologous breast reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast implants
  • Breast surgery
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Tissue expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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