Expander implant still uncomfortable?

Hi is there another lady out there that has had an expander implant, that is still having discomfort like me? I had my mastectomy in March 2011 and had my expander put straight in and went back various times to have more fluid put in. Anyway ever since, I have had trouble turning in bed and when I turn I feel I have to hold onto my implant to turn. I cannot lie on my front/back as its uncomfortable. I am wondering, is it that it just hasnt settled in yet? but its been 10 months or is it that there’s too much space for it to move around in. Or is it because of the type of implant it is? Any thoughts would be appreciated thank you.

Hi there,

Not sure how much help i can be in answering your questions as to why /what causes the pain but i can tell you for sure my expander implant was in a year to the day exactly from MX before it was replaced with a permanent silicone implant, and never ever stopped being sore during that time. Everyone’s different about discomfort and pain i know but for me it was tolerable, just! the difference i felt in comfort levels at the change over was immense. i hope in some small way that helps.


mine is unconfortable, well ive got two and both are different, one due to rads scaring is right under my chin and defo doesnt move but the port is uncomfortable, the other is a bit like yours it’s now about 10 month and i can sort of lie on side without bra but only started the last month as it felt it was pulling too much on back, maybe it is too much space, maybe you should see someone and ask, really hope you get sorted.

Lisa x

Hello Cheryl

Do you have a permanent or temporary tissue expander in? I’ve only had my temporary tissue expander in since October but I wouldn’t be able to put up with the discomfort if I didn’t know that it will be replaced eventually. Temporary expanders are designed to be uncomfortable as they are designed to stretch skin and tissues so they will always be like having a rock sewn into your body and you’d have to be a masochist to enjoy that feeling. I hadn’t realised it would be so uncomfortable especially during chemo.

If you have a permanent expander I think you should go back to your PS and tell them the problems you are having. They might suggest replacing it with a silicone implant. If it’s temporary perhaps now’s the time to talk to your PS about your reconstruction.

Oh Cheryl you’ve described exactly what I have been feeling since I had mine in last April. It’s been so uncomfortable the whole time but just before Christmas it went really hard and I was crying with pain every time I moved. It turned out I had a hernia in the chest muscle where the implant was poking through. They found that on ultrasound. Since then I’ve had to have it removed because it caused an infection and I’ve had a temporary sizer put in to save the skin cos my recon is due in 2 weeks. The relief was immense. If I were you I would speak to the breast care nurse and they can refer you for a check up. Good luck x

I feel for you. The tissue expander for me was undoubtedly one of, if not the worst thing to have entered my body!
It was hard, ugly and very painful when inflated…horrid!
I was so relieved when it was removed, (permanent one was not much better, but that is another story).

Do speak to your surgeon, either your BCN or plastic surgeon. As has been mentioned, if this is a temporary implant, then now may be the time to have the recon talk.

Good luck .
Naz x


So sorry to hear of your experiences on here. To me, it doesn’t seem “normal” to be in such discomfort and I would speak to your surgeon about it as it’s obviously affecting you quite alot - especially if you can’t sleep.

I had a bilateral MX with temporary expanders in October 2011, have had 2 expansions so far (now have 450mls in each) and have had no discomfort (apart from when I first went swimming - but I just took it slowly and can now swim normally again). I also know 2 other women who had expanders and have no discomfort. I just wanted to mention that in case there are women considering expanders reading this thread and getting a bit worried. It’s easy to get terrified of every procedure and treatment on this forum as we tend to hear more bad stories than good.

I really hope the discomfort is eased for you.


I had a temp expander at the end of september and I wondered whether it was normal to feel so uncomfortable. I had to have some saline taken out as it was “overpumped” and that helped a bit but I’m still uncomfortable and it feels like a constant reminder of the cancer.

It sounds like it gets better for most once you get the permanent one in so I’m hoping that helps. I can’t wear a bra for too long without it being uncomfortable either and even camisole tops feel like they are cutting in to me under the arm. Lying on that side is a no no too. And that feeling of having an orange stuck under my skin never goes away!!

roll on the next op!


Hi All, I havent been back to this site for a while but thought I would let you know how I got on. I had my expander implant replaced last month and the one I have in now has made a big difference, its soft not firm and hard like my expander. Not only does it look more like to my other breast, as the expander looked so different it feels right. Its only been four weeks but its all looking good. So I would recommend replacing it for a softer implant like mine.

Theres me thinking now I can get back to normality and I have today received a letter from the hospital after my recent mammogram to my other breast, to say they need to do further tests. I dont know what to think now.

Hi girls, I had my expanders put in last July after double MX. They were really uncomfortable to start with. Now I sort of got used to them but I am sure that if I replaced them with normal silicone implants I would feel the difference and be more comfortable, especially because the ports wouldn’t be there. The problem is that my surgeon thinks that the cosmetic result is unbelievably good right now and told me that it will never be this good so strongly dissuaded me from changing it for now. I agree with him that the result is stunning but is it worth it ? Not sure …
I have a ultrasound scan planned for July when they will see how the implants have settled after one year. I will them see him again in September and that will be my first chance to discuss the issue again. I am 42 so young but I feel that I would prefer to look slightly worse but be a bit more comfortable … on the other hand, after all I’ve been through last year, I am quite pleased that I am not going under the knife again any time soon.

Hi Cheryl

Interested to hear about your experiences with tissue expanders, I had one put in about the same time as you but I can’t have it replaced until next year because I ended up having rads which wasn’t planned when I had the mx and expander fitted. The main issue I have is it’s much higher than the other one as it won’t droop which makes choosing clothes difficult. Glad to hear you are pleased with the outcome.

But more importantly, please try not to worry too much about your recall. I’ve just had my first year mammo and I was recalled for a biopsy on the remaining breast. I phoned my BCN in panic and she said it was calcifications, 85% chance they’d be benign but given my history they wanted to be sure. And they were OK. So although this will be scary for you it’s entirely possible they are just been ultra, ultra, cautious. Which is nice to know although it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

Good luck