One of the complications after breast enlargement is capsular contracture which is caused when internal scar tissue creates a narrow capsule around a breast implant, compressing it to the point where it gets deformed and firm. As a consequence, you may feel pain and stiffness in your breast and the capsule may have an impact on the breasts’ appearance or look.
Generally, it is common for capsules to appear around breast implants, no matter which: silicone or saline ones. It is highly possible that scar tissue will appear as it is natural body’s reaction to any foreign object. It usually happens when the scar tissue contracts and limits the movement of the implant therefore capsular contracture after breast enlargement may be developed in the breast
Causes of capsular contracture
Usually the reasons are obvious, for example, injury to breasts, radiation or infection may be a source of capsular contracture. Also post-surgical hematoma (severe bruising) was also connected to increased possibility of causing capsular contracture
Capsular contractures with no obvious causes are called salient capsular contractures. Many researchers claim that bacterial contamination of the implant is possible in such cases: when bacteria is on the outside of the implant it may cause more severe physical reaction, therefore the scar tissue is more likely to overdevelop.
No matter the reasons, there are several risk factors that may show what are the possibilities for capsular fracture to develop:
Autoimmune disorders: if you suffer from any immune disorder, for instance lupus, you have already overactive immune system, which in turn, may overreact to an implantPregnancy: there is a significant correlation between pregnancy and cases of capsular contracture
Subglandular implant- this type of implant is implemented beneath the mammary glands yet above the pectoral muscle
Periareolar incision- this incision is performed under the nipple. Many researchers claim that this type of incision is connected with bacterial contamination
Silicone implants- it is generally the case with older types of silicone implants. There is a risk of silicone molecules seeping out of implants, known as gel bleed, therefore may bring about inflammation in the surrounding area.
Implant size- capsular contracture may also develop when breast implants are too large for the available skin
Warning Signs of Capsular Contracture
Usually the symptoms of capsular contracture are not clearly visible. They emerge slowly and high-riding or misshapen breast may be first indicators of capsular contracture. When the firmness intensifies you may feel that breasts are tight or sometimes painful, especially when you lay on your chest. Breasts may become very round and rippling is sometimes expected.
There is the Baker grading system which measures the degree of capsular contracture. There are four levels and they are as follow:
Grade 1: breast is soft and seems natural
Grade 2: breast also looks natural but is firm a little bit
Grade 3: breast looks abnormal and is firm
Grade 4: breast is abnormal, hard in touch and painful
Is capsular contracture dangerous?
Usually capsular contracture does not pose huge danger and when most women look for help it is usually because of discomfort and the look of their breasts.
With all this information, it is vital for you to have a consultation with the surgeon if you think that capsular contracture developed in your breasts. If you act quickly, you have better chances of avoiding surgical methods for treating this condition. Do not rush yourself to an emergency room, but make an appointment as early as possible. There are cases when capsular contracture is a result of silicone implant rupture. Sometimes ruptures may be detected by ultrasound, but usually an MRI is the best method to provide a clear diagnosis.
Due to some studies, ruptured implants do not affect your health , nevertheless, it is advisable to remove ruptured implant or replace when appear.
How to prevent capsular contracture breast implants
There are many ways to minimise the breast augmentation risks and the development of capsular contracture even before or after the procedure. If you are about to have safe breast implants, do not hesitate but tell your surgeon about your concerns before the surgery.
Submuscular implant- the implant is put under the pectoral muscle. Usually, when the muscle moves over the implant it may act as a massage and thus may hold back growth of scar tissue
Textured implant- due to textured surface of an implant it is said that it may restrain from scar tissue growth. The benefits of lower capsular contracture with textured implants are only noticeable when put over the muscle. In case it is placed under the muscle, the rates of capsular contracture do not dwindle in comparison with smooth implants. It also should be mentioned that in some cases textured implants were connected with ALCL, a rare non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is a cancer influencing immune system.
No touch- this method involves opening packaging just before putting into the body. The implants are installed so that they do not touch bare skin or medical appliances. They only may touch gloved hands and the interior of the breast. The main reason for that is that it does not not allow bacteria to accumulate on the outside of the implant.
Antibiotic irrigation- Pre-soaking the implant is installed and also washing the breast implant pocket which is surgically designed before the surgery with the use of cefazolin, gentamicin, and bacitracin have proved that it helps to decrease the capsular contracture.
Keller Funnel- this device helps to insert a silicone implant through a small incision in the breast. It paves the way for no-touch technique by securing the implant from any contaminants which may be present on the skin.
Closed filling- It resembles no-touch method. Briefly said, surgeon makes use of a closed system to load saline breast implants. Therefore, the saline is not open to air and any contaminants.
Post-surgical massage- after the surgery your surgeon should advise you how to take care of your breast. The intensity and time of breast massage depends on its size and material of implants. Usually, patients start this practice a week after the procedure and they continue doing it for at least a couple of months.
While you were researching online you probably bumped into polyurethane-coated implants which were known for their effectiveness against capsular contracture and proved to be effective.
During 30 years of studies on 382 patients proved that when there is more coating on an implant, the occurrence of capsular contracture dropped. Nevertheless, it also should be mentioned that researchers found that the polyurethane is prone to absorption by the body which may lead to some health issues. Therefore, this type of implants was withdrawn from the US, yet later on introduced once again but not widely recommended.
With the high level of experienced surgeons and the excellent clinics, cheap breast augmentation in Poland is becoming more popular among foreign patients, as breast enlargement abroad is more affordable than in Europe. Considering undergoing this procedure, you should think about doing your breast implants in Poland and our advisers at will be delighted to assist you with arranging your surgery and post-op stay.
Klaudia has been working for a medical tourism company as a patient advisor for years. She has been helping a lot of patients from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and many other countries. She knows very well foreign patients needs and she does her best to help them.
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