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The Fate of Breast Implant Capsules: Persistence or Reabsorption?

The conversation about breast augmentation often centers around the implants themselves—their size, shape, and safety. However, what is often overlooked is the fate of the capsules that form around these implants, especially after breast implant removal. Many in the medical community, including many patients, believe that the breast implant capsule naturally reabsorbs into the body. But recent evidence suggests that’s not entirely correct. Dr. Shaher Khan advocates for the complete removal of the implant and the surrounding capsule via total 100% capsulectomy.

What are breast implant capsules?

When a foreign object, such as a breast implant, is introduced into the body, the immune system reacts by forming a protective lining around it. This lining, called a capsule, is composed of fibrous tissue. Initially, this capsule serves to isolate the implant from the surrounding tissues. However, over time, it can become thicker and tighter, leading to complications.

Implant capsules persist after implant removal

One of the primary concerns associated with breast implant capsules is their persistence. Capsules can remain intact even after the implants are removed, become calcified, and even appear on mammograms. These capsules may continue to exert pressure on the surrounding tissues, leading to discomfort, distortion of the breast shape, and, in some cases, pain. Moreover, capsules can also serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, increasing the risk of infection.

Possible complications of persistent implant capsules:

  • Capsular contracture, i.e., the tightening of the capsule around the implant
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Chronic inflammation, leading to pain and discomfort
  • Systemic illness due to the leaching of silicone particles from capsules into the tissues
  • Autoimmune disorders because of the presence of silicone particles
  • Restricted movement due to severe capsular contracture

Complete capsule reabsorption is a myth

There is a common misconception that breast implant capsules will naturally reabsorb into the body over time. While some degree of reabsorption may occur, particularly in cases where the capsules are thin and pliable, the majority of capsules persist. Furthermore, breast implant capsules may include harmful substances, such as silicone particles or heavy metals, which can leach into the surrounding tissue and cause systemic illness or autoimmune disorders.

The importance of capsulectomy

Given the potential risks associated with persistent capsules, capsulectomy – the surgical removal of the capsule – becomes essential. Capsulectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the fibrous capsule surrounding a breast implant. During the procedure, the surgeon excises the capsule along with the implant, ensuring thorough removal. This alleviates symptoms associated with capsular contracture, reduces the risk of infection, and mitigates potential health risks associated with persistent capsules.

Contact Dr. Khan to explore your options

Dr. Shaher Khan emphasizes the importance of this procedure in alleviating symptoms associated with breast implant illness and restoring patients’ quality of life. Capsulectomy not only removes the source of discomfort but also reduces the risk of complications like infection and systemic illnesses. If you have breast implants or persistent capsules after implant removal, please consult Dr. Khan to explore your capsulectomy options.

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