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What is Capsular Contracture?

breast implant capsule

Capsular contracture is when breast tissue naturally grows around and onto the breast implant, thereby contracting it and giving the implant a hard look and feel. A scar forms around the implant outlining it and the condition has the potential to be fairly painful. Capsular contractures are found to be less common with saline implants than with old style silicone implants, the newer ones appear better.

Why does Capsular Contracture occur?
Capsular contracture is a natural reaction of the tissue growing over a foreign object in the body. There really is no way of predicting if it will occur again or not. It may be due to an injury, blood around the implant or due to bacteria on the implant, in extremely rare cases. All implants have a capsule form around them, its only when it becomes excessive that is a problem.

What are the levels of Capsular Contracture?

The grading system followed in capsular contracture cases is as follows:

  • Grade I: is when the breast looks natural and is soft to touch.
  • Grade II: the breast looks normal but is a little firm to touch.
  • Grade III: is characterized by the abnormal look of the breast and it is firm to touch.
  • Grade IV: the breast looks abnormal and is hard and painful.

In a mild case or Grade I of capsular contracture it is quite possible for the woman to not realize her condition. A more severe case would require surgery to correct the problem. Dr. Pasquale has treated many breast implant capsular contractures and the results are very good in most cases. In our Hawaii clinic for plastic surgery we have several specialized treatments for breast augmentation patients who have severe contractures or other breast augmentation complications.

Can Capsular Contracture occur again?

There is no way to ensure that capsular contracture doesn’t reoccur as it is caused by the natural growth of tissue on the implant. Our Hawaii plastic surgery clinic has developed specialized protocols to do the best we can to prevent reoccurrence of the capsular contracture. We minimize bleeding and sometimes placed drains. We place the patient on several medications and make sure there is no bacterial contamination. We also believe ultrasonic massage helps prevent or minimize the capsular contracture in our breast augmentation patients.

Reducing a chance of Capsular Contracture

  • A lesser chance of capsular contracture is reported when the implant is placed under the muscle. This also allows a more natural look for the breast as there is more breast tissue over the implant.
  • While smooth implants are preferred for their natural look and for less wrinkling there are some who believe that textured implants are associated with less case of capsular contracture. We don’t particularly believe that we think the capsular contracture is there but not as noticeable.
  • We firmly believe that a collection of blood around the implant stimulates scar tissue formation in breast augmentation and thus one will see complications from this. We do all we can to prevent post operative bleeding and this includes special instruction we provide our patients and excellent pre-operative preparation.
  • Our meticulous techniques we believe help to prevent this breast augmentation complication and our experienced Hawaii staff undergoes training every Wednesday in our Honolulu clinic.
  • One of the techniques we use here at our clinic to prevent and to actually treat capsular contracture is the ultrasound which we believe has been very effective.

It is vital that breast augmentation be performed by a certified plastic surgeon that is qualified and experienced. Dr. Michael Pasquale is one of the few cosmetic surgeons who has completed his full residency in plastic surgery and also acquired a 2-year training certificate specifically in cosmetic surgery from New York University Downtown Hospital, where he worked under some of New York’s leading plastic and cosmetic surgeons. In his Honolulu Hawaii clinic it is ensured that patients receive all information regarding breast augmentation including its risks and complications.