Capsular contracture is a surgical complication that can occur after breast augmentation. If you experience capsular contracture, Dr. Boyd can perform revisionary breast surgery to correct the issue and remove or replace your breast implants according to your desires.
What Is Capsular Contracture?
After breast augmentation, a thin layer of scar tissue forms around each breast implant, and this is referred to as the implant capsule. Capsular contracture is when this capsule becomes thick and tight, causing the implant to become rigid and firm and the breast to become distorted. This can occur in one or both breasts after breast augmentation. There are four grades of capsular contracture as measured by the Baker scale:
- Grade I: There is a soft capsule around the implant with no apparent distortion, and the breast appears soft and natural.
- Grade II: There is noticeable hardening around the breast implant, but the breast appears normal.
- Grade III: The breast is firm and looks abnormal. Distortion of the implant can be seen and felt.
- Grade IV: The breast is hard, painful, cold, and visibly deformed.
Most cases of capsular contracture develop within five years of the breast augmentation procedure. Capsular contracture is one of the most common complications with breast augmentation and can only be corrected by breast revision surgery.
Who Is At Risk?
Although the causes are not entirely clear, capsular contracture may occur as a result of a slight infection or hematoma around the implant following your breast augmentation surgery. Patients who are difficult healers, prone to infection, or whose bodies naturally form firm scar tissue are at greater risk of developing capsular contracture. The type of implant you choose can also affect your risk of capsular contracture; women with saline implants may have a five to eight percent risk, while women with silicone implants may have a 10 to 15 percent risk. Silicone implants are associated with a greater risk of capsular contracture because of microporous leakage and calcification of the silicone. Additionally, women who have had capsular contracture in the past are more likely to see it recur.
How Can I Recognize Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture can be detected using the Baker scale described above. If your breast feels hard, cold, or painful, or if it appears visibly distorted, you may have capsular contracture. Your breast implant may appear to have migrated upward, and it may look as though the breast has been stuck or pinned on your chest.
How Can Breast Revision Surgery Correct Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture may not harm your health, but it should be corrected if it causes pain or if your breast is noticeably distorted. Revisionary breast surgery is the only method that can correct capsular contracture. Dr. Boyd will perform revisionary breast surgery with capsulectomy (complete capsule removal) to remove the hardened scar tissue. During the capsulectomy, Dr. Boyd will create more space for the breast implant. Depending on your grade of capsular contracture, he may then either replace the implant or remove both breast implants and perform a breast lift. This will depend on your desires and your body’s needs, and Dr. Boyd will take care to individualize your treatment to produce the most aesthetically pleasing final results in your particular case. Even though women who have experienced capsular contracture are at greater risk of recurrence, revisionary breast surgery for capsular contracture still achieves a high success rate in preventing it from happening again.
If you feel you may have capsular contracture, schedule your revisionary breast surgery consultation with Dr. Boyd. Call our office at (310) 597-4734 or fill out our online contact form today, and we will help you book your appointment.