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Treatment for Capsular Contracture

By The Landings Surgical Centre on June 14, 2018


Surgeon holding a breast implantPatients who are dissatisfied with the shape or volume of their breasts can undergo breast augmentation surgery at our Halifax, NS cosmetic surgery practice. In most cases, breast augmentation offers a beautifully natural result and a boost in self-confidence.

Unfortunately, some women develop a condition known as capsular contracture, which gives the breasts an unnatural appearance. At The Landings Surgical Centre, our doctors offer surgical treatment for capsular contracture so that patients can reclaim their smooth, natural-looking contours.

What Is Capsular Contracture?

Capsular contracture occurs whenever scar tissue forms around a foreign object in the body. In the case of breast augmentation, scar tissue forms around the implants. As a result, the breasts become misshaped, stiff, or even painful.

Capsular contracture can be categorized into four different classifications:

  • Grade I: The breast is soft and has a normal appearance.
  • Grade II: Visibly, the breast is normal, but it is hard to the touch.
  • Grade III: Some visible distortion is apparent, and the breast is hard to the touch.
  • Grade IV: This is similar to Grade III, however, the capsule has hardened even more.

Risk Factors for Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is rare; only five percent of women who have undergone breast augmentation develop the condition. In some cases, capsular contracture is somewhat predictable.

For example, those who have undergone radiation or experienced a hematoma or trauma will be more likely to develop the condition.

However, “silent” capsular contracture, cases in which no cause is identified, is mostly attributed to a low-grade infection following the breast augmentation procedure.

A few other common risk factors include:

  • Post-surgical complications, such as extreme bruising and swelling
  • Lupus or other autoimmune diseases
  • Using implants that are too large for the amount of skin available
  • Implants placed above the pectoral muscle rather than below
  • Severe breast trauma
  • Radiation therapy

Treatment Options for Capsular Contracture

There are some non-surgical treatment options available for capsular contracture. For example, those with Grade I or II may improve their condition with breast massage. Some experts believe that this practice can help the scar tissue to expand, thus making more room for the implant.

Unfortunately, patients with Grade III or IV capsular contracture will require surgery to remedy the situation. There are two different surgical options for the treatment of capsular contracture:

  • Capsulotomy: During this treatment, the scar tissue is incised and released to make more room for the implant.
  • Capsulectomy: This procedure involves removing the entire capsule along with the implant. In most cases, new breast implants can be inserted after a few months of healing.

How to Prevent Capsular Contracture

The most significant line of defense against the development of capsular contracture is infection control. Therefore, patients will most likely be prescribed pre-operative antibiotics to reduce the chance for infection.

We will also provide patients with a detailed set of guidelines to help you enjoy a comfortable and successful recovery. This may include how to properly care for surgical drains or how to effectively reduce bruising and swelling following your procedure.

Learn More about Capsular Contracture Treatments

If you think you may be suffering from capsular contracture, schedule an appointment at The Landing Surgery Centre. We can treat the condition effectively. To learn more, contact us online or call us at (866) 928-0023.

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"Our doctors and staff are cheerful, friendly, calm, courteous, and efficient. They have an excellent rapport with each other and work very much as a team."

JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre

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1477 Lower Water St
Ste 7A
Halifax, NS B3J 3Z4

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