Stage One - A tissue expander is a silicone shell that is filled slowly over time with saltwater to stretch the skin and make room for your implant. The expander is placed under your chest skin at the site of your planned reconstructed breast. A small needle is used to fill the expander with sterile saline. The needle is inserted through the skin to a "fill port" located inside the expander. Gradually over time, the overlying tissues expand, much like a woman?s abdomen during pregnancy. Stage Two - The placement of your breast implant is the second part of the Two-Stage Breast Reconstruction process. After your tissue expander has reached an ideal pocket size, your plastic surgeon will perform surgery to remove the tissue expander and place your saline or silicone gel-filled breast implant. This is a routine procedure that usually takes 1 to 2 hours and may require a brief hospital stay or be done on an outpatient basis. It is possible to fully recover from the procedure in 2 to 3 weeks and be able to resume your normal activities.