Understanding Capsular Contracture: Causes and Treatment
A number of complications can occur following breast augmentation surgery. One common complication is called capsular contracture. This condition can be painful and may lead to distortion of the breasts’ appearance. A breast explant procedure can remove implants while effectively resolving capsular contracture.
What Is Capsular Contracture?
When a breast implant is placed inside the chest tissues, the body recognizes it as a foreign object. As part of the body’s natural healing and integration process, the tissues form a scar-tissue covering around the implant. This scar-tissue covering is called a capsule.
In certain cases, the scar-tissue capsule may form in a way that is thicker than normal. This excessive thickness causes the capsule to become tighter around the implant, a condition known as capsular contracture.
The condition may occur due to a number of potential causes.
Common causes include seroma, hematoma, an infection resulting from breast augmentation, and a genetic predisposition to developing scar tissue. A seroma is an accumulation of excess fluid beneath the skin, while a hematoma is an accumulation of excess blood beneath the skin.
When capsular contracture develops, pressure is put on the breast implant. The area may feel stiff, and there may be visible deformity. Pain can also occur.
What Is the Baker Scale?
The Baker scale is a system that was devised to measure the severity of a patient’s capsular contracture. It has four grades:
Grade I – The breast has a soft feel and a natural appearance.
Grade II – The breast is mildly firm and has a natural appearance.
Grade III – The breast feels firmer and has developed an abnormal look.
Grade IV – The breast is hard to the touch, has developed an abnormal appearance, and is experiencing pain.
Typically, Grade III and Grade IV indicate a need for surgical intervention.
Correcting Capsular Contracture with a Breast Explant
To correct capsular contracture and effectively resolve its symptoms, a breast explant procedure can be performed. A breast explant can be used to remove not only the breast implant but also the thicker-than-normal scar-tissue capsule surrounding it.
When it comes to surgical technique, a capsulectomy is usually needed to remove the implant and the scar tissue that has formed around the implant.
A capsulectomy involves removing the scar tissue from around the implant.
An en bloc capsulectomy separates the capsule from its surrounding tissues. The capsule and the implant are then removed as a single unit.
Regardless of the technique utilized, the breast explant process will involve first administering general anesthesia. Once it has taken effect, the incision is made. This is typically a longer incision along the breast crease.
Next, the capsulectomy is performed. Finally, the incisions will be closed with sutures.
Contact Our Office
To find out whether a capsulectomy is the right option for addressing your capsular contracture, contact our office today. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Rai at the Cosmetic Surgical Center to find out more.