Is my expander implant leaking

I had an expander implant fitted behind my chest wall 8 weeks ago as I had a mastectomy in January 2016. I’ve had 2 fills so far and have 250mls of saline in. Usually I go for a fill every other week but due to Christmas period have to wait 3 weeks for next fill. I’m 2.5 weeks now since my last fill and my small boob seems to have gone soft now and I can’t feel any liquid. Can an expander leak so early on in treatment or is it because I’ve gone longer between fills that the skin and muscle have stretched ??? I can’t feel any liquid and can suddenly feel edges of implant more. Have an appointment with consultant in 5 days but it seems so far away.

Amanda - I’m hoping it’s that your tissues already stretched and therefore “giving”. I’m surprised you’re having refills or top ups every two weeks, I had mine every 5 weeks, but opted to have, due to having thin skin and not wanting stretch marks because of. I would also think/hope the fact you can feel the edges more is another good sign. I’m long over my recommended expander time, it being 1 1/2 to 2 yrs, and mine now being 4 yrs. Has just been a set of unfortunate circumstances that this has been the case with me, not through choice or neglect. 

I’m hoping yours is okay though, and you can hang on another few days. Good luck with the rest of your recon procedures. You having nipple reconstruction also? If you are, I’m intrigued to know as to how they do this, from my own point of interest, as I haven’t yet discussed it with the surgeon. But then, I’ve been off the horse and do need to get back on again.

Happy New Year or New Boobs,

Delly xxxx 

Hi Delly. My surgeon said it should take around 4 months to get back up to DD so having fills every other week. Not discussed nipple reconstruction yet but you’ve given me something to think about. I’m crossing everything that it’s just my tissue expanding. I hope your journey comes to an end soon xxc

Hi Delly. Yes thankfully all was ok. He put in 250mls last week to push it a bit to see if it was leaking and all stayed in. Big phew. Had another 200mls put in today and a little bigger now. Have 700mls in now and surgeon says I’m still a long way off !!. Having 200mls put in every week now untill ready. I discussed nipples today and surgeon wants to go for nipple reconstruction 3 months after my implant swap. Once I’ve Had nipple recon and I’m healed then will have the areola tattooed on. Fingers crossed there will be no future leaks. I hope all is ok with You xxxx

Hi Amanda -I’m sharing your Phew!! Thank goodness for no leak. I forgot, your a single recon/expander, and so having to match your existing boob size wise. But I’m still shocked that your skin is tolerating what seem massive expansions to me. I had initial both 100mls at expander op, then 50mls every 4-5 wks to bring to my desired 250mls size!!! Just goes to show you differences in skins abilities. Did he describe how the nipple recon would be carried out? Will it be using part of your existing nipple and transplanting it, or creating a whole new one on your new boob, somehow?? The areola tattooing really will be  the “icing” on the cake!! (or boob!!) 

Dellypoos xxx

My natural breast is a DR and is quite large. Although I’m not going to go as big as my natural one. The surgeon is going to reduce and lift my natural breast at The same time as implant swap. At age 41 and lots of breastfeeding a while back I’m quite happy with that lol x. The surgeon did say that my skin is coping really well. U have been using bio oil a lot since my mastectomy a year back so don’t know if that has helped. It has amazed me though how much he will put in eventually. I’ve got 700mls in now and he said I’m a long way off!!. He did say he could match the other for size as my skin would take it but I’m excited to have smaller boobs for a change ?. Although I’m still at the stage where ok Just excited to have a boob there now. Not sure on the nipple as I did think at the end will they be able to use skin around my new boob as would imagine it will be quite stretched by then. You’ve given me something to think about. Thanks for staying in touch and sharing your experience. It’s nice to chat with someone who is in the same boat. Xxxx


Hey amanda, that all sounds fantastic, and doesn’t it just make you feel good to get some of your old bod/boob shape back again. Yeh, I’m exactly the same as to how do they do a nipple recon, on expander/silicone implant boobs, with the skin being so thin. I’ve never got to the stage of going nito such nitty gritty nipp wise, as still haven’t got past expander stage yet. You’ll probably find out sooner than me at my rate of stop. You’ll have to let me know flower, if you would. I don’t have the option of a shared nipple. Thanks from me to you too.

Dellywelly xxxx Hope you keep S t r e t c h i n g  well !!

Hi Delly. I had a 250 ml fill yesterday which went ok but it’s starting to Get painful now when he’s doing it. I mentioned that I’ve had 950mls now and doesn’t seem possible that I have all that I’m me. He did say that he feels that I do have a small leak as my new boob would be quite a bit bigger by now otherwise. As it’s a very slow leak I’m going back now every week to have 250 mls or 300 mls if my body can take it for 3 or 4 weeks and then will have the op a week later. Fingers crossed in 5 weeks it will be done. It’s getting a good shape now although still only half the size of my other boob but I willhet there. My husband is calling it the torpedo boob lol. Do you know how much longer you have untill your op xxx

Hi Delly. Just to let you know that I had the expander implant replaced with a silicone implant 3 days ago. I was glad to get it done as there was a leak in the expander. The weeks leading up to surgery the surgeon was injecting 600mls in just to keep the skin stretched as it would all come out by the following week. He put a 700ml silicone one in and so far so Good. Hardly any pain other than a bit sore and stiff. He didn’t reduce the other one as Will wait for the implanted side to settle so can match them up. Thought I would let you know as the op wasn’t as bad as having the expander put in. Take care xxx