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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Excellent tissue match
Limited donor site morbidity
Larger wounds can be reconstructed
Avoids scar associated with remote flaps
Good vascularity of flaps
Cost effective vs bandaging for 3 weeks


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

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