Capsular Contracture

Definition - What does Capsular Contracture mean?

Capsular contracture is a complication from breast augmentation. It occurs when scar tissue tightens around the breast implant. It contracts the tissue until it is hard and out of shape. The breast will begin to feel stiff and may be painful; its shape and appearance will also change.

TheConsultation explains Capsular Contracture

It is normal for scar tissue to form around breast implants, regardless of whether they are saline or silicone implants. Scar tissue is the body’s way of dealing with foreign objects. However, when the scar tissue begins to contract and cause problems with the implant, it becomes capsular contracture.

Symptoms can begin within months of surgery, but they may also occur later on. The majority of cases happen within two years after the breast augmentation surgery. Rates of capsular contracture are higher with silicone than with saline. The risk of this condition is increased by an infection or other complications after surgery. Trauma to the breast and radiation may also cause the condition.

Capsular contracture is categorized into four grades, beginning when the breast is soft and still looks normal. It then goes to slightly firm but normal, firm and abnormal and finally, hard and abnormal with pain. The most effective method of treatment is to have the scar tissue broken up and the implants removed. The condition may be prevented by putting the implants under the pectoral muscles, along with massaging after the surgery and doing compressional exercises. Some doctors may also prescribe antibiotics before the breast augmentation surgery and afterward. Only about five percent of women who undergo breast augmentation have capsular contracture.

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