Breast hardening, distortion, and pain are all symptoms of capsular contracture, a breast augmentation complication. While improvements in breast augmentation technique have reduced the risk of capsular contracture, the condition still occurs in a small number of implant patients. Women who develop the characteristic asymmetry or implant distortion usually must undergo corrective surgery to remove the capsule and reposition or replace the implant.
Although the prospect of additional surgical treatment may seem invasive, visiting an experienced plastic surgeon can ensure you receive the best care possible. A skilled plastic surgeon can correct the deformities and discomfort and restore the breast’s appearance.
Questions are a must. Asking plenty of questions during your initial consultation can help ensure that you are fully aware of what corrective treatment looks like for your unique situation.
Be sure to bring these top 10 questions to your consultation visit and for additional questions, contact our San Diego plastic surgeon.
- How Severe Is My Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contraction correction is determined based on the extent of the contraction. During your visit, your surgeon will evaluate and classify your symptoms according to the Baker classification – a grading system that categorizes symptoms in grades from one to four. Baker Grade 1 classification is the most minor form of capsular contraction. At this stage, contraction is imperceptible. Grade 4 contractures are characterized by an abnormal-looking breast accompanied by painful hardening.
- What Are My Treatment Options?
There are many treatment options for capsular contracture. These include:
- Capsulectomy- Removal of the capsule and removal and replacement of the breast implant.
- Capsulotomy- Scoring or partially releasing the capsule.
- Implant Exchange- Implant is removed and replaced with a new breast implant.
- Implant and Capsule Removal Without Replacement
- Ultrasound and Massage
Your surgeon will outline the treatment options that are available to you.
- Do All Corrective Treatments Require Surgery?
Not all capsular contracture patients will require going under the knife again. In some early and mild cases of contracture, a specialist may recommend non-invasive ultrasound and massage therapy to alleviate pain and reduce contraction risks.
Surgery is often required for effective treatment but talk with your plastic surgeon to discover all available options.
- How Will My Implant Placement Influence Surgery?
Capsular contracture is less likely when a breast implant is placed under the chest muscle. When treating this condition, your surgeon may recommend changing your implant placement to reduce the risk of recurrence.
- Have You Treated Patients with Similar Forms of Capsular Contracture?
As with choosing the right breast implant doctor, finding the best surgeon for breast revision treatment is vital to achieving natural-looking results. In Newport Beach and La Jolla, Dr. Sayed is happy to help patients by providing a second opinion regarding their capsular contracture. He regularly treats this condition and has high levels of success.
- What Are the Warning Signs of Worsening Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture may not develop for several months following initial breast augmentation surgery. The most noticeable signs to watch out for are soft breasts becoming firmer or rounder, excessive bleeding around the incision site and chronic pain around the breasts.
- How Can I Prepare for Surgery?
Preparing for corrective surgery is similar to other breast surgery procedures. Patients first undergo an extensive evaluation during which a skilled surgeon will identify the best surgical approach. In the weeks leading up to surgery, patients will be advised to stop smoking. Your doctor may recommend vitamins, supplements, and other preparations.
- How Long Is Recovery After Capsular Contracture Correction?
Following corrective surgery, we recommend patients give themselves several days of recovery before heading back to work and avoid strenuous activity for two to six weeks following surgery. During your consultation, your specialist will provide you with a personalized recovery timeline.
Your recovery timeline will depend on the techniques used for your correction.
- Is it Safe to Replace Implants After Corrective Surgery?
Yes, so long as you don’t use the same implants. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon can help you identify the right implant type and how to reduce your risk of future contracture.
Dr. Sayed uses specialized protocols to reduce capsular contracture risk including antibiotics in the breast implant pocket, special handling of the implants, a Keller funnel, and a no-touch technique on the skin.
- What Is the Likelihood of Recurrence?
While initial capsular contracture is relatively rare, recurrent contracture is high. If a surgeon is not diligent and fails to remove all signs of biofilm or bacteria, patients may end up with capsular contracture again.
Choosing a skilled breast surgeon with experience treating capsular contracture is essential to reduce this risk.
Bring Your Questions to Dr. Sayed
To learn more about correcting capsular contracture, call 858-247-2933 and schedule your consultation with our plastic surgeon.