Breast Augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures, providing women with the opportunity to enhance their self-esteem and body image.
While breast implants are generally safe, complications can arise, and one such complication is capsular contracture. Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue surrounding a breast implant tightens and squeezes the implant, leading to various degrees of discomfort and distortion of the breast shape. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and management of capsular contracture with breast implants.
Causes of Capsular Contracture
The exact cause of capsular contracture is not fully understood, but several factors have been identified as potential contributors:
Symptoms of Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture can present with varying degrees of severity, and symptoms may include:
- Breast Firmness: The affected breast may feel unusually firm or hard to the touch.
- Pain and Discomfort: Patients may experience pain or discomfort, ranging from mild to severe.
- Change in Breast Shape: Capsular contracture can cause the breast to appear distorted or misshapen.
- Visible Rippling or Wrinkling: In some cases, the implant may be visible through the skin, leading to a rippling or wrinkling effect.
The management of capsular contracture can be approached in several ways, depending on the severity of the condition:
- Non-Surgical Options:
- Massage Techniques: Gentle massaging of the breast tissue may help prevent excessive scar tissue formation.
- Prescription Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms.
- Surgical Intervention:
- Capsulotomy: This involves making incisions in the thickened capsule to release the tension and soften the breast.
- Capsulectomy: In more severe cases, the entire capsule may need to be surgically removed along with the implant, followed by the placement of a new implant.
- Implant Replacement:
- Changing Implant Type: Some patients may opt to switch from textured to smooth implants to reduce the risk of recurrence.
- Implant Size Adjustment: Modifying the size or shape of the implant during replacement surgery may help achieve a more natural appearance.
- Adjunct Therapies:
- Ultrasound Therapy: Some studies suggest that ultrasound treatment may help prevent the recurrence of capsular contracture.
- Irrigating with Antibiotics: In cases where bacterial contamination is suspected, irrigating the implant pocket with antibiotics may be considered.
Capsular contracture with breast implants is a known complication that can affect the aesthetic outcome of breast augmentation surgery. It is crucial for patients and healthcare providers to be aware of the potential risks and to monitor for symptoms. Early detection and appropriate management, whether through non-surgical or surgical interventions, can help alleviate symptoms and restore a natural and comfortable breast appearance. As with any medical procedure, consultation with a qualified breast surgeon is essential to determine the most suitable course of action based on individual circumstances. If you wish to discuss this further please do get in touch.