Capsular contracture is the most common complication of breast augmentation surgery and can happen at any time, but is more common in the first months after surgery. It occurs in less than 5% of patients with breast implants.
During the natural healing process a capsule forms, which is comprised of fibrous tissue. Capsular contracture is a response of the body trying to protect itself from an object that’s been inserted that it recognizes as foreign. Scar tissue, which forms routinely internally around the breast implant, can tighten and make the breast round, firm, and possibly painful. Excessive firmness of the breasts can occur soon after surgery or years later. The occurrence of symptomatic capsular contracture is not predictable, it may occur on one side, both sides or not at all. It is more common with implant placement in front of the chest muscle layer.
Treatments for capsular contracture may require implant replacement, or implant removal surgery, one technique is called an open capsulectomy, which is the partial or complete removal of the affected capsule to release the capsule’s hold on the implant. Once the natural capsule is removed, your body will form a new capsule around the breast implant. Changing the location of the implant pocket has also shown to be effective in decreasing contracture. For example, if the implant was previously located beneath the chest muscle, placement of the new implant above the muscle may decrease the chance of recurrence.
There is no real way to know ahead of time if a particular patient will develop capsular contracture.
This is one of the reasons why you need to choose your plastic surgeon carefully. Dr. Hricko has had plenty of experience performing not only routine breast enlargements but also breast enlargement revision surgery.