Expandables

A less commonly used type of implant is the Spectrum Expandable saline implant. This implant has a three-part system consisting of the Becker valve, fill tube, and reservoir system. An expandable implant can have saline added or removed in 50 cc increments using a fill port that is surgically implanted into the patient's armpit, allowing for minimally invasive post-operative adjustment.

The fill port is attached to a tube that directs saline to and from the implant reservoir. Once the patient is happy with the size and final look of the implants, a minor procedure removes the fill port and tube. A three-part seal made up of a kink valve, leaf valve, and the plug on the implant closes the valve without a need for additional surgery. Unlike normal implants, once the valve on an expandable implant is closed, it cannot be reopened; this creates the disadvantage that if it needs to be removed in a revision surgery, it must be removed without being drained, which requires a much larger incision.

In the next section, we'll discuss the importance and ramifications of implant placement.