Breast augmentation, a popular cosmetic procedure, comes with potential risks and complications. One of these complications is capsular contracture, where the scar tissue around the implant becomes hard and tight. Although scar tissue formation is a normal response to a foreign body, the hardening of the capsule can cause pain and an abnormal appearance of the breast.
Capsular contracture affects about one in six women who undergo breast augmentation. However, it’s important to note that the majority of women with implants do not develop this complication. The severity of capsular contracture can vary, with different grades indicating different levels of firmness and abnormal appearance.
The exact cause of capsular contracture remains unknown, but several theories suggest factors such as bacterial contamination, immune response, genetics, and the type of implant used may play a role. To minimize the risk, preventative measures during surgery are crucial. This includes maintaining sterility through specialized tools and antimicrobial solutions. Placing the implant under the chest muscle may also help reduce the likelihood of capsular contracture.
Postoperative care is also important in reducing the risk of capsular contracture. Regular breast self-massage can help maintain the softness and flexibility of the capsule. However, if capsular contracture does occur, treatment options are available. Medications and surgical procedures like capsulectomy or implant replacement can be considered. Additionally, Aspen multi-energy therapy, which utilizes ultrasound waves, can increase capsule elasticity.
For those considering breast implants, understanding the potential for capsular contracture is crucial. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) can ensure that preventative measures are taken during surgery and that proper postoperative care is provided. By making an informed decision and working with a qualified surgeon, individuals can increase their chances of a successful and complication-free breast augmentation.