The procedure for synthetic implants depends on the timing of the reconstruction.
If you choose to have the implant at the time of your mastectomy, your surgeon will insert it immediately after removing your breast tissue, and close the wound with sutures.
If you choose to have the implant surgery later, your skin may need to be stretched before the reconstruction can occur.
In this case, your surgeon will reopen the incision at your mastectomy site and insert a balloon-like tissue expander.
Over a period of weeks, your surgeon will cause the chest wall and skin to stretch by regularly injecting salt water into the tissue expander.
During a second operation, your surgeon will make another incision, remove the tissue expander, insert a permanent synthetic implant, and close the wound with sutures.