Capsular contracture after breast enhancement

Capsular contracture after breast enhancement

13th Mar 2017

The breast implant is a prosthesis used to enhance the volume of the breasts in women. The procedure is called breast enhancement surgery or breast augmentation surgery, and it is usually used for aesthetic purposes, but also recommended for breast reconstruction after different traumatic or operative situations that lead to breast deformations. It is probably one of the most frequent plastic surgeries performed for aesthetic purposes.

Who needs a breast enhancement procedure?

– People who want to have fuller, rounder, and firmer breasts for aesthetic reasons;

– People who need breast reconstruction after trauma or to correct a congenital breast malformation;

– People who need a corrective intervention: the patient had a breast enhancement surgery before, and something went wrong that needs correction.

In most cases, patients who benefit from the breast enhancement procedure are young women in good general health. Many of them will admit to discomfort regarding their appearance in society, when wearing certain outfits, and even related to sexual attraction. We have had patients tell us about depression and stress due to unhappiness with their breasts. And while some might think that breast size is only related to sexual attraction, we know very well that it can even affect work performance, as it can lead to low self-esteem and self-confidence. After breast enhancement surgery, we usually notice an improvement in the emotional state of the patient that can lead to an improved social life and quality of life in general.

The complications of breast enhancement surgery are the same as with other surgeries, but there are also a few specific risks and complications. These include blood accumulation (hematoma), liquid accumulation (seroma), and infection. In most cases, using correct operating technique and antibiotic treatment after the surgery will keep the complications at bay.

But there are also complications that can’t easily be prevented and can occur quite some time after the surgery was performed. One of these complications is capsular contracture.

The grainy capsule that normally forms around the breast implant is the body’s response to this foreign object. These capsules also form around other types of prostheses, like orthopedic ones and even pacemakers. Capsular contracture occurs when this capsule tightens and distorts the shape of the breast by changing the shape of the implant. It is accompanied by breast hardness and pain. The exact cause of capsular contracture is not known; some associate it with bacteria contamination, forming of hematomas, and tearing of the silicone capsule.

The methods we use to reduce the risk of capsular contracture are placing the implant under the muscle, using implants with a textured surface, and limiting contact with the skin during the placement in the pocket. Using antibiotics after the surgery is also important and can prevent capsular contracture.

To correct capsular contracture, another surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the capsule and place a new implant.

Share this article: