Balloon Expansion Therapy, also known as “tissue expansion”, is a surgical technique that is over three decades old, and puts the skin’s elastic properties to medical use. This procedure forms new skin by inserting a special inflatable balloon under the scalp, which can then be transplanted onto other areas of the body as needed. It is useful for all age ranges, from the infantile to the elderly, and treats a wide variety of conditions.
o perform this procedure, the following steps occur:
This technique is used for breast restorations and burn victims. When the scalp has developed substantial scar tissue and cannot regrow hair, it is called cicatricial alopecia. However, this surgery can be used on many other forms of hair loss as well.
When the expander is placed under the scalp, the newly stretched skin also has the same hair properties as before. In other words, if an area with hair is expanded, the new tissue will also have hair. Therefore, if the expander is placed on an area of the back of the head that normally retains hair throughout life (known as the occipital scalp), then the new tissue will also contain the same types of healthy follicles. This hair-bearing tissue can then be transplanted onto an area of the scalp experiencing hair loss so that new hairs may grow.
There are some distinct advantages of using tissue expansion over skin grafts such as:
Some of the inconveniences may include: