All visitors are required to wear masks.

For COVID-19 safety, all visitors to ChristianaCare facilities and services are required to wear masks. This includes visitors who are vaccinated. Please read our visitor guidelines before arrival.

Masks required at outpatient locations; visitors and support persons limited

All visitors at outpatient locations must be masked in alignment with the masking guidelines on our visitation policy page here. Patients at ChristianaCare’s outpatient services are advised to come to their appointments alone unless a support person is absolutely needed. If a support person is needed, such as a parent, guardian or spokesperson, we highly encourage that the support person be vaccinated. Outpatient practices are not requiring vaccination or a negative COVID test for visitors at this time.

All hospital visitors required to be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.

  • Inpatients in our Christiana, Wilmington and Union hospitals may have one visitor daily between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. The visitor must be 16 or older.
  • Patients having outpatient surgery may have one support person accompany them. Support persons must be 16 or older.
  • All visitors and surgical support people must show proof of vaccination OR a negative COVID-19 test within the prior 72 hours.

Before visiting, click here for more details about visitation.

Visit or for local vaccination and testing sites.

Plastic Surgery

Breast Implants with/without Tissue Expander

Breast reconstruction utilizing implants is the most commonly performed surgical procedure following a mastectomy. Usually, this is done in a staged fashion, starting with a tissue expander (TE) placed in the chest area (above or below the pectoralis muscle) immediately after the mastectomy. The TE is used to stretch the skin in the chest so the permanent implant(s) will fit. Over the next several months, your breast reconstruction team will add fluid, a little bit at a time, until reaching the desired size of your new breast(s). Then the care team will schedule your surgery to remove the TE and insert the implant. It is safe to have a tissue expander in place if you require chemotherapy or radiation therapy. You can also have a tissue expander placed in a delayed fashion–months or years after you have had your mastectomy. Occasionally, the plastic surgeon may be able to avoid the tissue expander phase and go directly to an implant.

Having a breast tissue expander/implant reconstructive surgery is fairly low risk. It typically requires one night stay in the hospital and several surgical drains in the chest area. Recovery is relatively quick, with most patients feeling back to themselves in 3-4 weeks. During this time, you are followed closely in the plastic surgery office.

Who can have this procedure?

Most women can have implant reconstruction; however, if you have had radiation treatment in the past for breast cancer, implants pose a higher risk than for those who haven’t. Radiation changes the quality of your skin and the tissue of your chest wall, so it may be harder to stretch your skin with a TE. In addition, there is a greater risk for infection, bleeding, and delayed wound healing.

Some common long-term risks of breast reconstruction with implants include:

  • Broken implant (rupture or leakage).
  • Implant malposition or asymmetry.
  • Scar tissue formation (capsular contracture).
  • Chest wall tightness.
  • Loss of sensation in the nipple and/or breast skin.
  • For more information, please visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our office at 302-623-3605.