Capsular contracture is a common complication associated with breast implants, and it is a condition that Dr. Shaher Khan, a renowned breast explant specialist, frequently encounters. Many patients undergoing breast implant surgery assume the risk of capsular contracture is fairly low, but that’s not the case. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, one in six breast augmentation patients experience some form of capsular contracture. And many more suffer from other complications, such as breast implant illness.
But what is capsular contracture? What are its symptoms, causes, and treatment options? This article provides all the information you need about capsular contracture.
What Is Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture is a medical condition that can occur following breast implant surgery. It involves the formation of a thick and tight scar tissue capsule around the implant. This capsule can constrict and squeeze the implant, leading to various symptoms, such as breast firmness, pain, altered shape, and discomfort. Capsular contracture is a known complication associated with breast implants, and its severity can vary from mild to severe.
Warning Signs & Symptoms of Capsular Contracture:
- Firmness in the breast
- Tightness or discomfort
- Altered breast shape
- Pain in the breast
- Changes in implant position
- Visible rippling or wrinkling of the implant
To diagnose capsular contracture, Dr. Khan may perform a thorough clinical examination and may use imaging techniques such as ultrasound or MRI to assess the condition of the breast implant and surrounding tissue. The Baker Classification system is often used to grade the severity of capsular contracture, with Grade IV indicating the most severe contraction.
The 4 Grades of Capsular Contracture:
Grade I: The breast appears and feels natural, with no visible or palpable signs of contracture. The implant remains soft and maintains its original position.
Grade II: The breast may look relatively normal, but there may be slight firmness or palpable signs of tightening. The implant remains soft, but the capsule becomes less pliable.
Grade III: The breast begins to exhibit noticeable changes. The breast may feel firm and appear slightly distorted or misshapen. There might be discomfort or pain associated with the contracture, and the implant may have started to move out of its original position.
Grade IV: This is the most severe grade of capsular contracture. The breast is visibly distorted, hard, and painful. The implant is likely displaced, and the patient may experience significant discomfort or pain, necessitating surgical intervention.
Can I Prevent Capsular Contracture?
Preventing capsular contracture entirely is nearly impossible, as it can result from various factors, some of which are beyond your control. Even after treatment or implant replacement, the risk of capsular contracture remains high, and recurrence is possible. While there are strategies to reduce the risk, such as proper implant placement and material selection, it’s important to recognize that this condition may still occur.
If you have breast implants and want to treat capsular contracture or prevent its occurrence, the only effective method is to remove the breast implant entirely. Dr. Khan specializes in cutting-edge techniques to remove the breast implant and its surrounding capsule.
En Bloc Capsulectomy: The Ideal Solution
En Bloc capsulectomy is often considered the ideal solution for addressing capsular contracture or preventing its recurrence. This surgical technique involves the complete removal of the scar tissue capsule along with the breast implant as a single unit. Removing the capsule and the implant together minimizes the risk of residual scar tissue and provides the best chance of preventing recurrence. Dr. Khan specializes in this precise and effective procedure, ensuring comprehensive treatment for patients experiencing capsular contracture.
If you’ve experienced symptoms of capsular contracture or are concerned about your breast implants, schedule a consultation with Dr. Khan. Our expert team is dedicated to providing personalized care and tailored solutions to address your specific needs.