Capsular contracture treatment is the surgical procedure to correct one of the most common breast augmentation complications, an overabundance of scar tissue forming around the implant. Capsular contracture affects about five percent of patients. A capsulectomy or capsulotomy can be performed to resolve capsular contracture.
What is capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture develops when the capsule of fibrous scar tissue that forms around the implant hardens, constricting the implant, causing it to feel hard and become misshapen. After an implant is placed to add breast volume, fibroblasts, collagen, and blood vessels form a capsule around the implant, the body’s natural response to the presence of a foreign object. The capsule, in most cases, is beneficial, helping to hold the implant in place. With capsular contracture, the capsule hardens, putting pressure on the implant, squeezing it into an unnatural shape.
What are the types of capsular contracture?
There are a few different types of capsular contracture, categorized with the Baker Classification Scale:
- Baker Grade I: The healthy version of a capsule that stays soft and keeps the implant in place.
- Baker Grade II: The capsule starts to become firmer, causing the breasts to feel slightly harder, but they still appear normal.
- Baker Grade III: The capsule hardens, and the breast shape starts to distort.
- Baker Grade IV: The capsule has hardened to the point the breast feels hard, has taken a distorted shape, and causes pain.
What is the procedure for capsular contracture treatment?
There are three main surgical procedures to remove capsular contracture:
- Open Capsulotomy
- Autologous reconstruction
A capsulectomy is a surgical procedure where your surgeon will remove the implant and scar tissue capsule. The implant is replaced, supported by a dermal matrix material made of collagen to protect the breast from a recurrence.
An open capsulotomy is a surgery in which your plastic surgeon places an incision in the hardened capsule tissue around the implant to open it and create more space for the implant. He may also remove some of the capsule tissue and may replace the implant if necessary.
In a tuberous breast correction procedure, anesthesia will be administered, so you are comfortable. In most cases, one surgery is necessary, and other cases may require a staged approach, placing a tissue expander as the first step. Your custom procedure may include a breast lift to remove excess skin and tighten and reshape the breast tissue. The surgical procedure will take between two to three hours, but as all cases of tubular breast correction are unique, the time varies.
Autologous reconstruction involves removing the implant and replacing it with tissue and fat harvested from another body area, such as thighs or buttocks. As the breast is enhanced with your own tissue, capsule contracture will not reoccur. A complex surgery, autologous breast reconstruction requires longer recovery time.
Many people return to work a week after surgery, but exercise should still be avoided for four to six weeks to ensure your incisions heal properly. After two weeks, you should be feeling back to normal, and within a month, your new breasts will be taking their final shape. By the time three months rolls around, you will be ready to wear swimwear, lingerie, and be confident revealing your new, balanced, shapely figure.
Other methods of capsular contracture treatment
While surgical means are the most effective, some patients may first undergo breast massage, physical therapy, or ultrasound therapy attempt to loosen and relax the tightened and hardened capsule.
How long is the recovery time?
The recovery from a capsular contracture treatment depends on the method used to relieve the pressure from the contracture. Both a capsulectomy and open capsulotomy will have recovery times similar to the original breast augmentation. After your surgery, you will be wearing a compression bra for two weeks. You will need to avoid strenuous activity and exercise for six weeks. You should be able to return to work in seven to ten days, or earlier.
Will I have scars?
Similar to breast augmentation, you will have faint scars that will heal over time to become almost invisible. Dr. Wiener is highly-skilled in hiding incisions and suturing carefully to achieve very natural-looking results.
Am I a candidate for capsular contracture treatment?
If you have developed hardened or distorted breasts after a breast enhancement surgery, you need to undergo treatment to restore the look and comfort of your breasts. Dependent on your unique situation and current state of health, we will be able to recommend the most effective approach to resolve your case of capsular contracture.
Why Choose Dr. Wiener?
Dr. Thomas Wiener is one of the top breast enhancement surgeons in the Houston area. He is well-known for his artistic eye and attention to detail. He is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and the author of several landmark papers. One of his most widely-read publications discusses the types of incisions used in capsular contracture. If you suffer from this condition, you want it fully resolved, and by a top-rated plastic surgeon. You can trust that your procedure will be performed by a plastic surgeon who has achieved acclaim for his skills in this necessary procedure.
Dr. Thomas Wiener, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in Breast Augmentation, Breast Revision, Liposuction,
and Mommy Makeover.Dr. Wiener serves the Houston, Clear Lake, and Pearland, Texas areas.
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