Breast Augmentation and Capsular Contracture

One of the greatest concerns yet least seen complications following breast augmentation is FDA recommends .  When any foreign body is placed into the human body a capsule is created around it  to wall it off from the rest of the body.  This is the normal process following breast augmentation.  But on rare occasions this capsule becomes firm and can become firm to the point of breast distortion.  So why does this happen and what can we do about it?

There are many reasons for capsular contracture such as irrigating the pocket during augmentation with betadine or antibiotic solution, silicone implants, subglandular placement of the implant and many others.  Yet it is a rare complication that nowadays has become incredibly rare to the point that I’ve not seen a case due to a subpectoral augmentation done after 2000 in my career.

So we’ve learned that there are many things that can be done to prevent capsular contracture.  First of all, all implants must be placed under the pectoralis muscle.  Studies have shown that regardless of the implant fill material the capsular contracture rate is the same when the implants are placed under the muscle.  However, saline filled implants have a lower contracture rate than than silicone implants when placed under the gland.  Unfortunately, they have a higher rate of visibility and rippling.   So when contracture happens the only thing that can be done is to remove the implants and capsule then replace with saline implants under the muscle.

The reality is that capsular contracture is extremely rare when the implants are placed under the muscle, regardless of the fill material.  So if you’re considering breast augmentation see a plastic surgeon who understands all of the aspects surrounding the procedure.  Click here or call our office at 703.752.6608 for a complementary consultation in Fairfax, Virginia with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Christopher Hess.

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