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Understanding Residual Capsulectomy: What You Need to Know

If you’ve undergone breast augmentation or have experienced issues with breast implants, you may have heard of residual capsulectomy as a solution. This procedure, often necessary due to complications arising from breast implants, involves the removal of the capsule that forms around the implant. Here’s what you need to know about residual capsulectomy.

What is Residual Capsulectomy?

Residual capsulectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the scar tissue (capsule) that has formed around the breast implant. Unlike the initial capsulectomy performed during breast implant removal surgery, residual capsulectomy targets the remaining scar tissue after complications such as capsular contracture have developed. The goal is to alleviate discomfort, restore breast appearance, and improve implant function.

The Body’s Response to Implants

When breast implants are inserted during surgery, the body’s natural response is to form a capsule of scar tissue around them. This capsule serves as a protective barrier, isolating the foreign object (the implant) from the surrounding tissue. The composition of this capsule can vary depending on factors such as the type of implant used, the surgical technique, and individual healing processes. In some cases, the capsule can become thickened, hardened, or inflamed, leading to complications like capsular contracture.

Capsule Composition

The capsule that forms around breast implants may contain various elements, including inflammatory cells, bacteria, silicone gel, silicone shell fragments, and calcifications. These components can contribute to the development of complications and discomfort for individuals with breast implants. For example, silicone gel-filled implants can potentially leak silicone into the surrounding tissue if the implant shell ruptures, leading to inflammation and adverse reactions. Similarly, bacterial colonization within the capsule can result in infection, which may necessitate the removal of the capsule through a procedure like residual capsulectomy.

Reasons for Residual Capsulectomy

There are several scenarios in which a patient may require residual capsulectomy. One common indication is when the breast implants need to be repositioned from a subglandular to a submuscular plane. This may be necessary to address aesthetic concerns, such as implant visibility or rippling, or to improve the long-term stability of the implants. Additionally, if the implant shell ruptures, particularly with silicone gel implants, the capsule must be removed to address potential health risks associated with silicone leakage into the surrounding tissue.

Addressing Complications

Capsular contracture occurs when the capsule surrounding the implant becomes abnormally thickened and constricted, leading to pain, distortion of breast shape, and potentially implant malposition. Residual capsulectomy offers a solution by removing the problematic capsule, releasing the tension on the implant, and restoring natural breast contour and softness. By addressing complications promptly through residual capsulectomy, patients can often achieve improved outcomes and a better overall quality of life.

Consult Dr. Shaher Khan Today

If you’re considering residual capsulectomy or exploring alternatives to breast implants, please consult a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast implant removal, such as Dr. Shaher Khan. He can assess your individual circumstances, discuss your goals and concerns, and recommend the most appropriate treatment for you. Dr. Khan has long been an advocate for the official recognition of Breast Implant Illness (BII), and he is committed to helping women reclaim control over their lives through personalized breast implant removals.

CONTACT 734.419.1615