The present study reviews our clinical experience with tissue expansion in head and neck reconstruction. The clinical series consists of 33 expansions performed in 29 patients between 1983 and 1986. The results of tissue expansion in the head and neck were distinguished by a high complication rate, necessitating some revision in the original treatment plan in 48 percent of patients. Despite this high incidence of complications, sufficient tissue was generated to successfully complete the planned reconstruction in 79 percent of patients. Specific complications were observed with particularly high frequency within distinct anatomic sites. The highest incidence of complications occurred in the cheek and neck (69 percent) and forehead (50 percent) regions. Complications in the eyelid region (33 percent) and scalp (17 percent) were less common. Implant exposure was the most frequently observed complication. Other sequelae noted in this series included intractable pain, infection, and bone resorption.