Capsular contracture is one of the most common complications of breast augmentation, and it cannot be predicted. It occurs when the scar tissue that forms around the breast implants hardens and squeezes them. This can cause the breasts themselves to harden and look and feel visibly different. Dr. Doezie routinely corrects this complication with breast revision surgery at his practice.
Characteristics of Capsular Contracture
- Hardened breasts
- Deformed breast appearance
- Implant can be felt through the skin
- Discomfort or pain
Causes of Capsular Contracture
The direct causes of capsular contracture are not known. It can occur soon after breast augmentation surgery or many months later, and it may occur in one or both breasts. Implant placement above the muscle tends to be associated with a higher risk of capsular contracture. Infection or exposing the implant to bacteria before it is inserted can also increase the risk.
Preventing Capsular Contracture
While unpredictable, capsular contracture is less likely to occur with a few preventative choices:
The rough surface of textured implants discourages the formation of scar tissue, but this advantage is usually only seen when the implants are placed above the pectoral muscles. This combination of options may reduce the risk of capsular contracture, but it will not necessarily prevent it.
Submuscular implant placement can reduce a patient’s risk of developing capsular contracture to as low as four percent. Placement over the muscle increases the risk 12 to 18 percent.
Since contamination of the implant can increase the risk of capsular contracture, Dr. Doezie takes special precautions during surgery. The packaging containing the implants is opened at the moment they are ready to be inserted into the body, and he is the only person to handle them. The implants do not touch any other surface, including the patient’s own skin.
Correcting Capsular Contracture With Breast Revision
While other methods can be used, the most effective treatment for capsular contracture is to perform a complete capsulectomy, or complete removal of the scar tissue “capsule.” This will likely prevent capsular contracture from recurring in the future. Many patients receive new implants at the same time their capsular contracture is corrected.
If you are interested in breast revision surgery with Dr. Allen M. Doezie, please schedule a consultation by calling 949.481.9850 or by filling out our online contact form.