What is Breast Implant Capsular Contracture?

What is Breast Implant Capsular Contracture?

The body’s normal response to breast implants is to form a scar around the implant, on the inside of your body. This contiguous scar around your implant is called the “capsule”. This “scar capsule” is a actually good thing, because it supports the implant in the upright position.

In the vast majority of cases this necessary and beneficial scarring on the inside of the body takes place without complication. You do not see or feel this scar “capsule” – but it serves to hold your implants in place over time.

However, in very rare instances a complication called “capsular contracture” can occur that affects the capsule. Although there is no guaranteed way to completely eliminate the possibility of capsular contracture, there are many steps that can be taken before during and after breast implant surgery to greatly reduce your risk.

What Is Breast Implant Capsular Contracture?

Statistics vary, but most estimates put the risk of capsular contracture at only around 3 to 5%. Capsular contracture occurs when chronic inflammation (usually due to bacteria) causes  collagen fibers buildup and tighten in the scar capsule. Abnormal cell formation called myofibroblasts can occur, which can produce collagen and contract like a muscle cell.

As this buildup continues, the breast implant is squashed into a smaller space, making it more compact and firm – and sometimes affecting the breast shape as well. Capsular contracture can be mild, causing only minimal change in appearance and firmness. In more severe cases it can cause the breast to become hard, misshapen or migrate out of place.

Reducing the Risk of Breast Implant Capsular Contracture

Fortunately there are many things that you and your surgeon can do to reduce the risk of capsular contraction. Dr. Ali is a highly skilled, experienced and careful board certified plastic surgeon who takes every step possible to reduce or eliminate risk factors for capsular contracture.

Listed below are some of things you can do to help reduce this risk.

  1. Proper Breast Implant Size Reduces Capsular Contracture Risk

Recent studies have shown that too large of breast implants that overstretch the soft tissue envelope put women at higher risk of capsular contracture.

  1. Breast Implant Texture Can Reduce Capsular Contracture Risk

Breast implants with texturized shells typically have a decreased incidence of capsular contracture compared to implants with smooth shells, when placed over the pectoralis muscle. In FDA approval studies anatomically shaped ‘gummy bear’ implants both, rippled the least and had the lowest risk of capsular contracture.

  1. Breast Implant Incision Choice Can Reduce Capsular Contracture Risk

Incision placement is crucial to minimizing capsular contracture risk. In most cases, the incision with the lowest risk of capsular contracture is the inframammary incision (in the crease below the breast). Experienced surgeon Dr. Ali will take this factor into consideration – along with all other relevant factors – when determining the best incision type for you breast implants.

  1. Pocket Placement, Creation & Preparation Can Reduce Capsular Contracture Risk

Capsular contracture is more common when breast implants are placed in the subpectoral position – above the pectoralis muscle.  This is likely because there is a reduction in bacterial exposure when implants are placed in the subpectoral position.

Precise and meticulous surgery performed by a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Ali can also reduce capsular Contracture risk. A procedure called “electro-cautery”, makes a bloodless pocket for the implant that leaves minimal damage to the surrounding tissues. This healthier and dryer pocket, is less likely to allow bacteria to grow, further reducing the inflammation that can lead to capsular contracture.

After a the breast implant pocket has been created, but before insertion, a formula of three antibiotics in saline mixed with Betadine, should also be applied to further lower rates of infection that can result in capsular contracture.

  1. Post-Surgical Antibiotics Can Reduce Capsular Contracture Risk

After breast implant surgery, and even after the patient has healed, a woman can still be at risk of bacterial contamination of their implants – that can lead to Capsular Contracture risk.  Infections – even of a tooth, nail, or scrape – should be promptly treated with antibiotics. Also, anytime an elective surgery procedure is planned – including include dental procedures, Pap smears, and colonoscopies, etc.  – a one-time dose of antibiotics should be given beforehand.

Best Breast Implant Procedures

Because capsular contracture is a result of chronic inflammation, most often from bacterial infection, there are a number of things you and your board certified surgeon can do to minimize the risk. Doctor Ali is has performed successful breast implants on thousands of women across Oakland County.

He will help you choose the implant size and type, incision placement, and implant placement that will give you the most beautiful results while also minimizing any potential risks.

Birmingham 7 Rochester Hills’ Area Top Breast Implant Surgeon

Dr. Ali is a board certified Birmingham / Rochester Hills area plastic surgeon who has performed breast implants on thousands of women in Birmingham, Troy, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield, and across Oakland County. He utilizes the latest techniques and best, state-of-the-art breast implant technologies and procedures – to ensure that your results are as safe as they are beautiful. 

Dr. Ali will be happy to offer you a consultation to answer all of your questions, and help you choose the best breast implant size, shape, material and position for your body type and appearance goals.

Feel beautiful inside and out, with breast implant surgery. And remember, financing options are also available.