Capsular contracture repair is something that you might have to undertake if your breast augmentation surgery does not go to plan. Before opting to have surgery, you should be aware of any issues that may arise and be fully prepared to accept what may happen. The odds are good in your favor but you cannot rule out issues.
Capsular contracture is one of the more common problems that may occur. This is when the naturally occurring scar tissue around the implant becomes hardened and can make the implant too tight which is painful, or it can make you look misshapen as it may displace the implant. It happens in about one in fifteen cases, on average, and in three quarters of cases it will happen in the first two years after the enhancement surgery.
Studies have shown that this phenomenon is more common in smokers and previous exposure to radiation. Your surgeon will point out any risk factors from your medical past so that you can make an informed decision before the original breast enhancement surgery. Your risk can be increased by using an implant that is too big for you and also if there was any damage to blood vessels or infections with the original surgery.
As lots of studies have now been done on this topic, there are many ways that a surgeon tries to avoid the risk of causing capsular contracture. These include placing the implant under the pectoral muscle as this has been shown to reduce the risk of capsular contracture compared to placing the implant above the muscles.
Smooth implants rather than textured ones are not considered more beneficial in terms of avoiding capsular contracture. Surgeons also try to avoid the implant being exposed to bacteria either in the air or on your skin. They do this by ensuring that the implant does not contact their skin or yours.
However sometimes even when these precautions are taken you will develop capsular contracture and the best way to treat it is surgery. The surgery will remove the problematic area. This is called a capsulectomy, the procedure is quick, and they use the original incision to gain access to the area. The surgeon will remove the implant so that they get access to the hardened area which is causing the capsular contracture.
Before you have this procedure, you need to discuss with your surgeon whether or not you want the implant to be put back in after the capsular contracture is removed. This is because if the implant is replaced it is possible to get another capsular contracture further down the line. Your surgeon and doctor will advise you on this matter. It is always up to you whether you take this chance and only you know how important the enhancements are to your life.
The issue of capsular contracture isn’t a massive problem and the surgery is slightly less invasive than the original breast augmentation. The most important part of your decision is that it is an informed one and one you have discussed it with your medical team.