• Has anyone had the breast reconstruction surgery with saline implant expander? If so, what can be done about the tightness & hard feeling?

    Asked by Staci on Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Has anyone had the breast reconstruction surgery with saline implant expander? If so, what can be done about the tightness & hard feeling?

    I had this surgery on Mar. 2, 2012, perhaps it's too soon to do anything?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • whirl's Avatar

      When I had my expanders if felt like I was in a straight jacket. You could move them around. I was miserable for about 3-4 months. I am a stomach sleeper and it was difficult. If I layed on my back the pressure of the expander would give me fits. I finally made a bridge with a pillow for my head and a pillow for my abd thus my expanders were suspended. The tightness could be uncomfortable too. My breast size before surgery was a double 0. The surgeon expanded them slowly with small amounts of saline. I went every two weeks. I rmembered the last few times it was uncomfortable and I would be miserable for a couple of days. I guess I looked at like kids with braces. I didn't go very large good or bad. I went with silicone implants. They are comfortable although they can feel strange too. Be careful even with the surgeon trying one of my breast is smaller than the other. It has a larger implant and still is smaller.

      over 4 years ago
    • kkkkk's Avatar

      its not very comfortable, but I found that it gradually became more comfortable as they were filled more. In the beginning I felt as if the edges were bunched up a bit and jabbing into me. At each fill it feels tight for about a day but again gradually becomes more comfortable. It just takes time as your skin stretches. My advice would be to make sure you stretch your arms/shoulders - I favored my left shoulder and it froze up. I've been going to physical therapy for months! Hang in there! feel better.

      over 4 years ago
    • caregiver's Avatar

      I had the expansion and saline implants two years ago. They will soften a bit and the tightness from the expanders will get better. At first I thought I would never get used to them-now for the most part I don't even think about them. So there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Absolutely keep exercising to avoid shoulder issues. I had problems with my shoulder for a year, but found moderate exercise was the best thing. All the best.

      over 4 years ago
    • Staci's Avatar

      Thanks everyone for your responses! I will try all the stretches, excercises and pillow techniques and let you know if it gets better in a few weeks or months.

      over 4 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope all is well.

      Your question reminded me of some content we have on reconstruction experiences.




      It also reminded me to let WhatNexters know about our Beginner's Guide to Cancer, including a guide on how women chose between a lumpectomy and mastectomy.


      Best of luck to all,

      about 3 years ago

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