After breast augmentation surgery excessive scar tissue may form around the breast implant which causes the breast implants to harden (similar to what a contracted muscle feels like). The cause of capsular contracture is unknown, but it is the most common complication with breast augmentation surgery. There are different grades of capsular contracture ranging from mild to severe. The rate of capsular contracture has decreased from 20-30 years ago when all breast implants were placed above the muscle (sub-glandular). By placing the breast implants below the muscle (sub-muscular), the rate of capsular contracture has significantly decreased. Also, it is said that massaging of the implants helps decrease the chance of capsular contracture. When a patient is believed to be developing capsular contracture or hardening of the breasts, they may be placed on a medication called Accolate. This is an asthma medication that has shown to improve capsular contracture in patients at an early stage. When a patient develops severe capsular contracture, the treatment would be to return to the operating room and perform a capsulectomy on the patient. There is a chance that the capsular contracture may return after the revisionary breast surgery.
The Surgical Procedure
For correction of capsular contracture, the procedure can take from 2 to 3 hours, depending on the severity and complexity of the encapsulation. Open capsulotomy, a surgical corrective procedure, involves removing the scar tissue encapsulating the implant, releasing the tension around the implant caused by capsular contracture. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Pousti takes his time in the operating room to make sure that he does what he can to achieve the patient’s results.
What To Expect After Surgery
Pain is rarely strong, more commonly being a degree of discomfort. Swelling occurs but usually begins to subside by the third or fourth day. Some degree of swelling may persist for longer periods. A well-fitted bra is worn day and night for three weeks. While there is probably seldom interference with future breastfeeding, women are cautioned that it may not be possible to breastfeed in the future.
The surgical bra is used to stabilize the area after the repairs are made.
Resumption of Physical Activities
Driving may be resumed in 1-2 weeks.
Non-contact sports in 3 weeks.
Contact sports in 6 weeks.