• expander

    Asked by roni on Tuesday, March 19, 2013


    can anyone tell me how they feel with a mastectomy and expander in place..... 3 weeks into recovery and still a bit uncomfortable... should i get used to the feeling (was told it was from the heavy expander)?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • karen1956's Avatar

      The TE are uncomfortable...they are "hard"....you more or less get used to it....I missed sleeping on my stomach but I got used to sleeping on my back. I had 3 fills total after my bilat then finished chemo and rads...and had to then wait 6 months to do my exchange...so I had my TE for almos 13 months....I remember my PS putting my hand on my chest after the exchange (in the recovery room) to feel how soft they were!!!! When I say uncomfortable, they weren't painful just not comfy!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Tissue expanders are darn uncomfortable. You get used to it, sort of, but every time it's expanded it gets painful again.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Uncomfortable. They feel very tight, p,us they're so rigid. You'll get used to it, and before you know it they're gone (relief!).

      over 3 years ago
    • Berta's Avatar

      Hi, first time online happy to see so many informative people, I want to ask the same thing about pain level and expander. I also had 25 lymph nodes removed from left arm and the left breast mastectomy. Drains were in for three weeks and I thought that was the pain but the expander was the problem too. Hurts all the way to my left shoulder in my back, my son touched my back and he said it is still uneven and before it was bruised and sore. I would like to know how long before they take the expander out. suppose to start chemo on 3/25.

      over 3 years ago
    • GiggleBunny99's Avatar

      Roni, I also had a mastectomy and expander put in 3 wks ago. This contraption is very uncomfortable! The port digs into my rib and sleeping on my side is out of the question. My surgeon said it was all normal.After the fills your skin is stretching, tender, and can get irritated. By the time we start to get used to it it will be time to get it removed :)

      over 3 years ago
    • bethmac3s' Avatar

      The expanders are awful! I had them in for 6 months and truly never got used to them! BUT, when they put the implants in, MUCH BETTER. Hang in there, Hugs!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      The tissue expanders are uncomfortable but less so as they are expanded. The description I received from my PS was it was like wearing an underwire bra under your skin all the time. My last and final fill was March 6th and I am just waiting for my muscle and skin to stretch. I am most uncomfortable in bed but that is all it is--discomfort. Good luck to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • Mel's Avatar

      Hi!.. Hate to say it but yes... they are uncomfortable and hard! and then with getting filled also. In some sort of way you get used to it, but you will be glad when they come out :) My exchange was in end of Dec. and feels so much better now just getting used to these things haa haa.

      over 3 years ago
    • Julie99's Avatar

      I had my expanders put in on Jan 10th and have had 3 fills. Going through chemo now, then radiation starts in June. My PS said the implants will be put in 5 months after radiation ends to make sure the tissue has healed, so I've got these expanders until next February. NOT excited about that part at all.
      But I'm glad to know that everyone says they are uncomfortable and the implants will feel much better. It feels like a scarf is pulled tightly around my chest. As the muscles stretch, it gets better, then I have another fill again and its tight again for a bit.
      I've finally been able to sleep on my side again, which was HUGE for me. Once and a while, just for a break, I will lay on my belly with pillows under and above my chest... letting the expanders sort of hang out between the pillows. And I get to lay on my belly again! But I won't sleep that way. Good thing to consider if you get the okay for a massage.

      over 3 years ago
    • roni's Avatar

      i have to say my heart is overwhelmed by all of this support!!!! I was so timid at first to open up but this feels so safe and welcoming..... I am so happy to be communicating with people whe have walked in my shoes and getting info and support from people who have traveled this road... Thanks so much for making me feel like i CAN DO THIS!!!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • DorothyV's Avatar

      My expander was uncomfortable the whole nine months, sorry to say. It will get better. Are you having chemo and radiation? I had both and had to wait a little over three months after radiation before my exchange. Implant is so much more comfortable. Good luck and God bless:)

      over 3 years ago
    • Kmack927's Avatar

      My Dr. told me that it would hurt for about three weeks, mine hurt for about 6 weeks. It was 6 weeks before I could even sleep flat, I bought a wedge from Relax the Back for sleeping. I am 7 months post mastectomy and it still limits my range of motion and is uncomfortable but no longer hurts. My Dr. will not do any fills until after I have recovered from Chemo and Radiation. I am on 29 of 35 radiation. But it is no longer painful just uncomfortable and I miss sleeping on that side.

      over 3 years ago
    • Benge's Avatar

      So sorry you have to go through this too. The expanders are uncomfortable, it feels to me like a metal bra on the inside...I call them my coconuts, I had all my fills and they are hard! Can't wait to get the soft implants!
      I sent a prayer for you and all the ladies that are going through this!! We are strong women!!

      over 3 years ago
    • thil2633's Avatar

      I got mine in October and I felt forever like I had a twoxfour in my chest and it would pop out my armpit. Now they are just "eh uncomfortable" but I did refuse to let the Dr. "pump them up" anymore. He had me a full B cup when I woke up from surgery, now I would guess I am a C cup (550 cm). They still feel heavy and hurt my muscles every now and then. I will have them removed on May 17th and the silicone implanted....and I can't wait.

      over 3 years ago

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