Breast implants are one of the most common procedures that there are in cosmetic surgery and these treatments also have the highest success rate of any cosmetic procedure. With this being said there are of course risks with any kind of cosmetic surgery and when it comes to breast implants one of the most common issues which patients suffer from is capsular contracture. The patients who require capsular contracture treatment are very much in the minority but it is still a risk which anyone who is looking to have breast implants, should be aware of. Let’s have a look into more detail what the issue is, and how it can be resolved.
What is Capsular Contracture ?
In a nutshell capsular contracture is the body’s reaction to a foreign object, in this case the breast implant, where scar tissue will build a wall around the object. This is actually positive thing for the breast implant as it will help to keep the implant in place. When capsular contracture happens however in some cases it can push the breast implant into strange positions which can cause soreness and misshapen breasts.
There are 4 grades of severity with capsular contracture and these are the different classifications.
Grade 1 – Asymptomatic contracture which involves formation of the scar tissue around the implant which does not have any effect on the size or shape.
Grade 2 – Some cosmetic symptoms which will be normal in shape and size yet can be sensitive to touch
Grade 3 – Clear cosmetic changes where the breast will be firm to touch and the size and shape will appear abnormal.
Grade 4 – Painful breast with abnormal cosmetic form. The breast becomes very hard and changes shape.
When Will It Appear?
Capsular contracture doesn’t always happen immediately but in 75% of cases this will happen within the first 2 years after a breast implant procedure.
What Causes It?
There is little to suggest that there is anything about the implant which causes contracture and it is more likely that this is caused simply because there is a foreign object in the body. There is no difference between the number of people who suffer this with gel implants or with saline implants, and it does simply appear to be a physical reaction to a foreign body in the breast. There is a theory that this can be genetic but as yet nothing has been proven.
In the past the surgeon used to remove the implants and administer antibiotics to get rid of any infection which may have occurred. We now have technology which can use laser therapy to treat the breast tissue in a non-invasive treatment. The success rate of this treatment is incredibly high and it is now the industry standard for treating this ailment. In grade 4 capsular contracture there is lower levels of success but researchers are working hard on finding the technology which will be able to deal with this level of severity.