Capsular contracture is a complication that can occur with breast augmentation but its occurrence here in Hawaii and elsewhere in the states has become much less frequent over the last few decades. Because breast augmentation requires the insertion of breast implants which the body recognizes as a foreign object, the body tends to form a thin, wispy, fibrous membrane around it. These are often called scar tissue or a capsule.
The majority of women who get breast augmentation may develop a mild to moderate amount of adhesions where this membrane or ‘capsule’ stays thin and wispy and they don’t notice anything at all. However, some breast augmentation clients will develop capsular contracture over time when the capsule tightens around the implant and thickens, making the implant feel firm or even hard. In more severe cases the contracted capsule will distort the shape and position of a breast implant and it can be uncomfortable or even painful. Don’t be alarmed, there are ways to prevent capsular contracture. In Hawaii, we carefully follow-up with all of our breast augmentation clients to be sure that preventative measures are being done, and should a capsular contracture starts to develop, we will be able to catch it early.
Capsular contracture can develop soon after a breast augmentation surgery or several years afterwards. The vast majority of cases start to show signs and become fairly evident soon after breast augmentation. So if your breast implants are soft and supple after 12 months, then they are likely to stay that way for the long term.
Now that plastic surgeons in Hawaii and elsewhere have a better understanding of some of the reasons why capsular contracture occurs compared to decades ago, there are a number of measures that can be taken to significantly reduce the likelihood that it will happen following breast augmentation surgery.
If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation procedures and/or other services we have to offer, don’t hesitate to call and set up a consultation with S. Larry Schlesinger, MD, FACS today.