Capsular contracture

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What is capsular contracture?

The body develops a lining to wall off all foreign materials such as breast implants. This lining is a form of scar tissue and is known as a breast capsule. Capsules also occur around other implants such as joint replacements. In most people these capsules remain soft and pliable and you will not be aware you have them. Approximately 4-6% of people with breast implants will develop thicker than normal capsules. Modern textured breast implants have been shown to have a lower rate of capsular contracture than the older smooth walled breast implants. Capsules can act like shrink wrap constricting the breast implants. This is capsular contracture. This can cause :

  • Firmness of the implant
  • Tenderness of the breast
  • In severe cases changes in the shape of your breasts

There are two options to treat breast capsules:

  • Breast capsulotomy
  • Breast capsulectomy
  • Breast capsulotomy is an operation which releases the capsules internally. Breast capsulectomy is an operation to remove the capsules.  Depending on the type of capsules you have we will advise on the most appropriate treatment for you. Polyurethane coated breast implants have a very low risk of capsular contracture.
What is involved in Breast Capsulotomy and Breast Capsulectomy?

Your surgeon will usually use your old scar during surgery. This means you will not have any more scarring than you did before. This could be in the crease under your breast, the area near your armpit or through the areola (the dark area surrounding your nipple). The breast capsule surrounding your breast implant will either be released (capsulotomy) or removed (capsulectomy). It is normal to replace your old breast implant with a new breast implant. A breast capsulectomy usually takes 2 – 3 hours to complete. Surgery is normally performed under a general anaesthetic and you will need to stay for one night at one of our local partner hotels. Most people return to work 1-2 weeks following surgery.

Breast Capsulectomy

Your recovery

You will be able to walk around and perform light activities the day after your operation. Strenuous activity, however, must be avoided for at least 4 to 5 weeks.

Possible side effects

It is possible that your capsules may return. The risk is higher in people who have developed capsules around their breast implants already. The risks of developing further capsules can be reduced by:

  • Totally removing the capsule – total capsulectomy
  • Replacing your existing breast implants with polyurethane coated breast implants
CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE FAQS

What is capsular contracture?

After any type of breast implant is inserted into the body, protective lining is formed around it referred to as a ‘capsule’. However, for some women the capsule shrinks, squeezing the implant. This is when it is called the capsular contracture.

The tighter the capsule around the implants, the firmer the breasts become.

Can capsular contracture be prevented?

Unfortunately because the reason behind capsular contracture have not been found yet, there is no way to determine the necessary precautions to prevent it from happening

How is capsular contracture performed?

The breast capsule surrounding your breast implant will either be released (capsulotomy) or removed (capsulectomy). It is normal to replace your old breast implant with a new breast implant.

How long does the procedure last?

Capsular contracture usually takes 2 – 3 hours to complete

What is the recovery period like?

You will be able to walk around and perform light activities the day after your operation. Strenuous activity, however, must be avoided for at least 4 to 5 weeks.

What are the potential side effects of capsular contracture?

  • Totally removing the capsule – total capsulectomy
  • Replacing your existing breast implants with polyurethane coated breast implants

Will I have scars after the surgery?

Your surgeon will usually use your old scar during surgery. This means you will not have any more scarring than you did before.

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2017-06-26T19:06:51+00:00
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