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Many women undergoing breast augmentation will be informed that this is a complication, but what is it and why does it happen?
It is considered a common complication and refers to the tightening of scar tissue the body forms around the implant. Different companies for different implants will aspire to tell us their implants have reduced capsular contracture rate but at the end of the day the exact cause in unknown.
The implant is considered a foreign body and your body will recognize it as such. In order for your body to keep control and ‘contain’ the foreign body, it will create a capsule of fibres around it and be very proud it has protected you so diligently. The capsule on its own is a naturally occurring tissue and while it remains thin, the implant usually is comfortable in its new home. However, if the capsule contracts or thickens, it can squeeze the implant causing distortion or hardening of the breast and sometimes pain.
Some contributing factors have been identified to include infection, bleeding, contamination, smoking and trauma. Some studies have shown an increase in capsule contracture rate with subglandular placement (under breast tissue), compared with submuscular placement (under muscle); some studies have shown a greater risk of capsular contracture is seen in smooth implants compared to texture implants.
Prevention is better than cure as surgeons continue efforts to reduce the rate of capsular contracture. Massage, antibiotics and irrigation of the surgical site are some interventions. To date there is no proven data to suggest for certain any of it makes a difference.
Patient education is paramount. At Cairns Plastic Surgery, our staff place utmost importance on education of patients on their chosen procedure. Dr Hertess is tireless in ensuring we are kept up to date and provide her patients with professional advice as well as optimal pre and post operative care.
If you are considering breast surgery; welcome a consultation with one of our nurses to guide you through the procedure and answer all of your questions.