Table of Contents
Plastic Surgery International
Volume 2014, Article ID 457205, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Second Generation Self-Inflating Tissue Expanders: A Two-Year Experience

Plastic Surgery Unit, Plastic Surgery Resident, Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Received 27 September 2013; Revised 7 December 2013; Accepted 10 December 2013; Published 23 January 2014

Academic Editor: Stephen M. Warren

Copyright © 2014 Jamal Omran Al Madani. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Tissue expansion is a well-established surgical technique that produces an additional amount of normal skin to cover a defect. This technique is appealing because the skin quality and color are from the patient’s own. The widely used injectable expanders are of great reliability but carry the disadvantage of being painful during injection and most of the time require multiple clinic visits. So the idea of self-inflation became attractive and hydrogel expanders were developed and became widely known for being painless during clinic visit and decrease number of visits. The first generation expanders were modified by adding an enclosing plastic shell to decrease the unopposed expansion that occurred in the first generation expanders, which lead to pressure necrosis of the skin flaps. This made it an attractive option for tissue expansion in children and some adult patients. Patients, Materials, and Methods. Charts of 17 patients were retrospectively reviewed, all of them had second generation self-inflating expanders implanted over a 2-year period for one of two purposes, the treatment of giant nevi or burn scars. Results. Fifteen patients were females and 2 were males. The indication was large burn scar in 14 cases (14/17), in which 47/55 expanders were implanted, and giant nevus in 3/17 cases in which 8/55 expanders were implanted. Extrusion of the expander occurred in 8/55 expanders (14.5%), which occurred in 6/14 patients. The highest percentage of extrusion occurred in the neck in which two out of three expanders extruded; otherwise this complication does not seem to be related to the indication, gender, nor age of the patients. It seems to be that it is technical in nature. The patients did not have to get any injections to fill the tissue expanders, which made the expansion process less painful and more convenient. Conclusion. This seems to be currently the largest published review in which second generation expanders were used. Those expanders seem to offer a desirable advantage of being painless for children, also they do not require repeated visits to the surgeon’s clinic, which is of great value for patients living in the periphery.