Symptoms of Capsular Contracture
Most cases of capsular contracture occur within two years following breast implant surgery. Symptoms often begin within months of the original surgery, but they can happen at any time, even many years after the implants are placed. In the case of a gel-filled implant, capsular contracture many years later may be a sign that the implant has ruptured.
Symptoms typically emerge slowly. The breast may appear misshapen or be riding high. It may begin to feel tight or painful as the firmness of the breast increases. There may be visible rippling, and the breast may appear round and ball-shaped.
Capsular Contracture Treatment
Non-surgical treatment may be beneficial in certain cases of capsular contracture. Non-surgical treatment options include external ultrasound, antibiotics, massage, vitamin E, while some physicians prescribe the off-label use of leukotriene inhibitors (asthma medication) such as Accolate and Singulair.
The standard treatment for capsular contracture is surgery. Surgical procedures include:
- Capsulotomy: The capsule surrounding the implant is cut into pieces surgically, and the implant is reused in some cases.
- Partial Capsulectomy: A portion of the scar tissue capsule is removed. The amount removed depends on the degree of contracture and the surgeon’s preference. In many cases, a new implant is placed in this procedure.
- Total Capsulectomy: An inframammary incision is made in the crease of the breast to remove the entire capsule with the implant enclosed, and to help prevent contamination of the new implant. This procedure produces the lowest capsular contracture reoccurrence rate.
- Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM): Sheets of collagen/protein matrix that have been de-cellularized are used to create a pocket for the implant. Placing this matrix redirects the way collagen is laid down and helps prevent the capsule from tightening around the implant.
If you are experiencing excessive firmness, tightness, or distortion after breast augmentation surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Pablo Prichard. After careful evaluation and one-on-one consultation, he can recommend the most appropriate capsular contracture treatment for you.