tissue expansion, soft

tissue expansion, soft

A technique used in plastic surgery to expand skin prior to excising an area to achieve a more cosmetic wound closure. One or more expander balloons are inserted under the skin. The balloons are then expanded by progressively increasing the amount of saline solution in them. This is done on a weekly basis for whatever time is required to sufficiently stretch the overlying skin. After the expansion is completed, the plastic surgical procedure is performed. This permits removal of skin without having to cover the area by a skin graft.
See: surgery, plastic; W-plasty; Z-plasty
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