Tissue expanders with a focus on extremity reconstruction.
We describe their uses, advantages, disadvantages, and clinical outcomes. The majority of articles reviewed include case series with level IV evidence. Outcome data was collected for studies after 1990 using PubMed database. Expert Commentary: An overall reduction in cost, time-to-wound closure, hospital length-of-stay, and infection rate may be expected with most tissue expanders. However, further studies comparing outcomes and cost-effectiveness of various expanders may be beneficial. Surgeons should be aware of the wide array of tissue expanders that are commercially available to individualize treatment based on thorough understanding of their advantages and disadvantages to optimize outcomes. We predict the use of external expanders to increase in the future and the need for more invasive procedures such as flaps to decrease. PMID: 29322847 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]