Capsular Contracture

Dr. John Tyrone can help patients understand capsular contracture, a risk involved in breast implant surgery, at our Jacksonville, FL, practice. The condition occurs when scar tissue tightens around an implant, distorting its shape. At Aesthetic Breast Surgery, we take every precaution to avoid complications. While the precise cause of capsular contracture is not known, research suggests you can minimize your risk by choosing a surgeon who maintains sterile surgical conditions, carefully evaluates candidacy, and provides explicit aftercare instructions.

What is Capsular Contracture?

Image of capsular contracture of breast implantCapsular contracture is the most common complication of breast augmentation. Following breast implant surgery, part of the healing process involves the body creating a tissue capsule around the implant. This is a natural process that occurs any time a patient has a foreign object implanted in the body. However, in some women the tissue capsule shrinks, squeezing the implant, and possibly distorting its shape or causing it to feel hard.

Research continues to examine the exact cause of capsular contracture. Many doctors find that the placement location of the implant makes a difference: implants placed under the muscle have a lower occurrence of contracture than those placed over the muscle.

Smoking may also contribute to this complication, as it can delay healing and cause inflammation.

Doctors use the Baker scale to grade the severity of capsular contracture:

  • Grade I – The capsule exists, but it is not contracting, and the breast has a soft, normal appearance and feel.
  • Grade II – Mild contraction occurs, causing the breast to appear normal but feel firm to the touch.
  • Grade III – The contraction has escalated to the point that the breast feels hard and is distorted in shape.
  • Grade IV – Similar to Grade III, but the capsule feels harder, and the patient may also experience pain.

While the precise cause of capsular contracture is not known, research suggests you can minimize your risk by choosing a surgeon who maintains sterile surgical conditions, carefully evaluates candidacy, and provides explicit aftercare instructions.

Treating Capsular Contracture

Dr. Tyrone works with patients to prevent capsular contracture from occurring in the first place. He may prescribe prednisone or vitamin E before surgery as a deterrent. When the option is aligned with your goals and lifestyle, the doctor will insert the implant under the muscle, as the condition occurs less frequently with this placement.

If capsular contracture does occur, the most common treatment is a capsulectomy. This surgical procedure involves removing the capsule and replacing the implant. The doctor may also perform a capsulotomy, which entails trimming the capsule tissue to loosen it and allow for expansion.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Despite the risks involved, breast implant surgery helps many patients to dramatically enhance their appearance while boosting their self-confidence. There is no way to guarantee that capsular contracture will not occur, but you can minimize the risk by choosing an excellent surgeon. To learn more about capsular contracture and other risks of breast implant surgery, contact our office today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Tyrone.

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