What is tissue expansion

A brief explanation

Controlled mechanical overstretch

Tissue expansion is commonly used in human reconstructive surgery to grow extra skin through controlled mechanical overstretch.

  • The generation of new tissue secondary to chronic stress
  • Straightening of the network of collagen fibres initiates a series of cascades resulting in an increased mitotic rate
  • An increase in the absolute number of dermal cells
  • Expanders are used to pre-stretch skin adjacent to a defect and the additional skin created is used in reconstruction
  • Achieve primary closure
  • Alternative to remote grafting

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Pros Cons
Excellent tissue match Prolonged process (2-4 weeks)
Limited donor site morbidity Multi-stage procedure (2 ops needed)
Larger wounds can be reconstructed Abnormal body contour during expansion
Avoids scar associated with remote flaps  
Good vascularity of flaps  
Cost effective vs bandaging for 3 weeks  

toolbar.pngWHAT IS TISSUE EXPANSION

Tissue expansion is commonly used in human reconstructive surgery to grow extra skin through controlled mechanical overstretch.

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toolbar.pngWHAT IS EXPANIDERM

Expaniderm is the first in a new class of implantable soft tissue expanders, offering control, reliability and convenience.

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