Capsular Contracture Treatment in Scottsdale, AZ

Occasionally, women have a previous breast augmentation, or other breast surgery, only to find that now their procedure needs correcting due to a complication including capsular contracture or some other reason. Dr. Prichard offers breast revisions to patients who need physical revision from a seasoned professional.

What Is Capsular Contracture?

Capsules form around all breast implants. Scar tissue is the natural response of the body when a foreign object has been surgically placed within the body. Capsular contracture only develops when the scar tissue tightens or contracts, restricting the movement of the implant. This is caused by excessive fibrotic reaction (scarring). It is the most common reason for corrective surgery following the placement of breast implants.

As stated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are four grades of capsular contracture, called Baker grading I through IV:

  • Grade I: Breast looks natural and is normally soft.
  • Grade II: Breast is somewhat firm but still looks normal.
  • Grade III: Breast is firm with abnormal, visible distortion.
  • Grade IV: Breast is hard and painful with greater abnormal distortion.

Risk Factors for Capsular Contracture

The precise cause of capsular contracture is not yet known, although a number of theories have been proposed, of which the most widely-accepted is low-grade infection. According to the FDA, it may occur more frequently following infection, hematoma (collection of blood), or seroma (collection of the watery portion of the blood). In the study published by NIH, researchers identified certain risk factors for this condition, including:

  • Use of smooth vs. textured implants
  • Subglandular vs. submuscular placement
  • Silicone vs. saline-filled implants
  • Previous radiotherapy to the breast

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.

Best Breast Surgeon Scottsdale

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.



I had a great experience working with Dr. Prichard and his staff. They were very patient and answered all of my questions. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. Dr. Prichard made my breasts beautiful again.

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If you’re interested in learning more about Capsular Contracture in Phoenix or Scottsdale, request a consultation online. Or if you’d rather, you are welcome to contact the office directly, and one of our staff members can assist you.

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