03 Jun “Doctor, I think my breast implants might be getting hard!”
Breast Implant Hardening
It can be a very exciting time for a woman when she makes the decision to have breast augmentation surgery. But the surgery is not without complications. One of the things that can happen following surgery is something called capsular contracture.
Capsular Contracture is defined as the scar formation around the implant that makes the breast feel harder/firmer than a normal breast. Capsular contracture is the highest reported complication following breast augmentation. However, there are a number of things your surgeon can do to lower your risk during the time of surgery. Your surgeon should place the implant in a sub-muscular position whenever possible. They should also routinely use antibiotic irrigation prior to placing the implant. The two leading causes of capsular contracture are post-operative bleeding and infection around the implant space. Your surgeon should, therefore, be meticulous about eliminating any and all bleeding in the surgical area at the end of your procedure.
Capsular Contracture in Breast Augmentation
A recent article in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal looked at capsular contracture rates in low risk patients following breast augmentation surgery. The Michigan State University study found that the overall incidence of capsular contracture in 856 patients was 2.8%. The authors found that antibiotic irrigation decreased capsular contraction rates from 3.9% to 0.4. Patients who smoked were found to have higher rates of contracture than nonsmokers (5.5% vs 1.9%). Interestingly, saline implants had a higher capsular contracture rate than silicone gel implants in their study (4.3% vs 1.3%).
The studies authors concluded that, based on their findings, capsular contracture rates should be less than 1% in patients. However, if you are one of the unfortunate 1% who develops a hard breast there are options. Breast massage and stretching exercises have shown to help decrease contracture in the immediate post-operative time period. Also, recent evidence suggests that the allergy medication singulair may help to decrease contracture in patients following breast augmentation. If all else fails there are various surgical approaches that can be used to correct contracture in patients as well.
Contact Scottsdale Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Parson
Dr. Parson is an expert in breast surgical procedures and has an enormous experience dealing with these and other breast issues. If you or one of your friends has capsular contracture or a similar problem please call our office for advice on how to correct the problem.