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Capsular Contracture

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When breast implants (or any foreign objects such as pacemakers) are placed into the body, the body forms a lining around it. This lining, or capsule, is formed by your own living tissue. Many people refer to this lining as the "capsule", "tissue capsule", or "scar capsule", although it is not exactly the same as scar tissue. This is the body's natural response to any kind of object that is placed inside it. It is normal and to be expected.

Capsule contracture is the most common complication of breast augmentation surgery and can happen at any time. However, it seems to be more common in the first several months after surgery. At the time of the initial surgery, a pocket is made for the implant. During the healing process, a capsule forms, which is comprised of fibrous tissue. The body is genetically programmed to shrink scar tissue somewhat. Under normal conditions, the pocket remains open, thus allowing the implant to look and feel natural. However, in some people, the capsule will tighten and squeeze the implant. This makes the breast implant feel hard, distorting the appearance of the breast. In the later stages, the implant feels very firm, and may take on a "ball-like" look. It's important to remember that it's not the implant that has hardened.

Capsular contracture may be more common following infection, hematoma, and seroma. However, it is not known for sure why capsular contracture happens. Many discussions have come up with various causes, such as a textured implant surface and submuscular placement of the implant (this placement may actually decrease the capsular contracture rate).

There are four levels of capsular contracture as determined by the Baker Grading System:

. Grade I: the breast feels normally soft and looks natural

. Grade II: the breast feels a little firm but looks normal

. Grade III: the breast feels firm and looks abnormal (visible distortion)

. Grade IV: the breast feels hard, painful, and looks abnormal (greater distortion)

Contact Us!Further surgical procedures may be needed to correct capsular contracture, usually for grade III or IV capsular contracture. The surgical procedures range from removal of the implant capsule tissue with or without replacement of the implant itself. However, you have to keep in mind that capsular contracture may happen again after this second operation.

Versión Español: Contractura Capsular


Decreasing chances of developing capsular contracture

The occurrence of capsular contracture is more likely to happen with sub-glandular placements so if your Better Looks surgeon instructs you to perform compression or pocket exercises or movements, you should follow his directions thoroughly to help prevent it from forming.

Many doctors believe that implant placement under the pectoral muscles (or even under the pecs, serratus and Contact Us!rectus abdominus fascia) significantly decreases one's chance of capsular contracture. Nonetheless, patients still do develop capsular contracture with this placement as well, although not as often.


Non-surgical methods

. Closed capsulotomy - with this procedure, the breast is forcefully squeezed in the hopes that the capsule pops or tears. This is not often done because it could cause the implant to rupture.

. External Ultrasound - May help reduce swelling and inflammation and does not involve any major risks.

. Prescribed antibiotics and Vitamin E - even though this is not always effective as a cure, many surgeons will suggest that patients take a regular dose of Vitamin E for the first year after augmentation as it helps to keep tissue soft.

Contact Us!. Accolate - this anti-inflammatory used in the treatment of asthma has shown, in minor studies, to help regress capsular contracture. This is a relatively new and experimental treatment with no long-term statistical data.


Surgical methods

. Open capsulotomy - in this procedure, the capsule surrounding the implant is surgically cut open in order to release the implant. However, there is a chance of contracture occurring again.

. Open capsulectomy - this procedure is generally the most successful, as well as the most intensive, form of treatment. The entire capsule is removed, allowing new tissue to form around the implant. In some cases, surgeons will change the implant placement: for example if the implant is placed above the muscle the surgeon may place it underneath the muscle during capsulectomy in the hopes of better results.

Contact Us!The most appropriate treatment for capsular contracture is complete capsulectomy, since this implies the removal of the entire thickened capsule surrounding the breast implant. This is the most likely procedure to prevent future recurrent capsular contractures from forming. Capsulotomy, or merely cutting the capsule to release the scar formation, is much more likely to lead to a recurrence of the problem.


Contact Us!After analyzing all this information you may now make the correct decision and finally have the breasts that you have been longing for, look in the mirror and be happy for realizing your dreams at a lower cost and with the correct precautions that are necessary with any surgery. The information given in this website should be considered as an introduction to a breast implant surgery. Before deciding on submitting yourself to a breast implant procedure , we highly recommend you contact Better Looks directly, so we can answer any specific question you might have.

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