Capsular contracture surgery
Every breast implant develops a layer of tissue (or capsule) around it. It is the body’s way of trying to isolate the implant which it sees as a foreign body. This is entirely normal and it is this reaction to foreign material that allows hip replacements to work so well (by forming a new joint capsule).
Normally the process of capsule formation goes unnoticed by both patient and doctor and no action is required. Occasionally however, problems can arise where the capsule starts to become thickened and contracts resulting in a change in shape of the implant, visible rippling of the skin and even pain due to the forces exerted on the soft tissues by the capsule.
The treatment for the problem of capsular contracture is surgery in Bristol, London or Newport.
Frequently asked questions
How is capsular contracture surgery done?
Surgery involves removing the current implants and carefully examining the inside of the capsule. If it is not too thick or harded it can be scored or hatched sot that it stretches up without a problem and new implants can then be inserted. However if the capsule is very distorted and hardened, it is necessary to remove it completely prior to inserting the new implants.
Capsular contracture surgery is more involved and complex than breast implant exchange, and the biggest problem that is faced is bleeding into the implant pocket post operatively. This is because when scar tissue is cut (and the capsule is essentially scar tissue) the blood vessels that would normally retract and seal off when cut are prevented from doing so and held open by the scar tissue, increasing the risk of a collection of blood forming around the implant (a haematoma). Mr. MacQuillan often uses surgical drains following capsulectomy, in addition to meticulous attention to haemostasis (using electrocautery to seal any bleeding vessels), to minimise the risk of haematoma formation.
How long is the recovery period?
After capsular contraction surgery you can undertake light activities (including light aerobic exercise) once you feel comfortable, and after the first 2 weeks you can start to lift everyday objects. It is important not to do upper body weights or rigorous exercise until 6 weeks following the surgery. Your body will be a good guide as to what you can and can’t manage!.
Although success rate following surgery are high, there is a higher risk of redeveloping capsular contracture if you have had it occur once already. If this were to occur a further release of the contracture could be undertaken together with other potential steps to reduce risk of recurrence.