Capsular Contracture is one of the more common complications occurring after breast augmentation, affecting about 8% of patients who receive this procedure. Following a breast augmentation, a capsule of scar tissue develops around each implant. This assists in holding the implant in place as well as in the preservation.
In some cases, however, the collagen fibers located in the scar tissue become very hard and constricting resulting in the contraction of the capsule. This contraction may cause subtle changes of appearance and firmness to the breast. Or, the changes may be severe, resulting in significant deformation of the implant, hardness, migration, soreness, and pain.
Who Is Affected by Capsular Contracture
Capsular Contracture may affect anyone who has received a breast implant. This includes those who have had implant-based breast reconstruction and those who have had breast augmentation. Symptoms may occur within a few months or many years after the breast augmentation.
The exact cause of this condition is not known; however, it is believed that bacteria play a role in its development.
Before & After
Ways Your Plastic Surgeon May Minimize Your Risk
While there is no absolute way of completely removing the risk for developing Capsular Contracture, your chances may be minimized when these factors are considered:
Breast tissue can be stretched and thinned by overly large breast implants, which may result in a greater chance for Capsular Contracture. A greater risk of displacement also occurs with large breast implants.
Three common incision placements are used for those who receive breast augmentation: through the armpit (transaxillary), around the areola (periareolar), and in the natural crease under the breast (inframammary). Studies have shown that inframammary incision has a considerably lower occurrence of Capsular Contraction. Reasons include:
- Longer surgical instruments are used in the transaxillary incision for the transportation of the implant from the patient’s armpit to her breast pocket. The risk of contamination is increased because of the need for more instruments passing in and out of the site of the incision.
- The implant is inserted through the milk gland when using the periareolar incision. Due to the milk ducts containing bacteria, the risk for implant contamination is increased. This contamination can lead to extreme inflammation irritating the capsular contracture.
- Risk of contamination is minimized with the inframammary incision due to the avoidance of milk ducts. Also, if breast implant revision surgery is required in the future, the same incision can be used.
Exposure to bacteria is limited when submuscular placement (under the pectoral muscles) is used for the implant. While this placement may not be right for everyone, the chances of developing Capsular Contracture are reduced when placing the implants under the pectoral muscles.
Other Factors Increasing the Risk of Capsular Contracture Developing
- Type of implant
- An occurrence of hematoma/seroma following surgery
- Wearing a post-operative bra
Aspen After Surgery, a post-plastic surgery treatment facility in Coral Springs, Florida specializes in a non-surgical treatment for capsular contracture. The Aspen Multi-Energy Therapy protocol, developed by clinician Tim Weyant, is the only patented, researched, and non-invasive therapeutic technique to successfully treat capsular contracture. By utilizing the Aspen Harmonizer™ you will bring back the shape and softness of the breast as well as the symmetry.