When women come to Dr. Tracy McCall’s practice for breast augmentation, the goal is to increase bust size and improve body contours. In the majority of cases, breast augmentation is a success. Breast augmentation can add volume to the breasts and improve breast shape to make women feel more confident. Unfortunately, complications such as capsular contracture may arise following breast augmentation. Dr. McCall helps our Milwaukee patients understand capsular contracture, including its symptoms and treatments.
What Is Capsular Contracture?
The breast capsule is a thin membrane of tissue that surrounds a breast implant. This capsule is larger than the implant and allows the implant to sit comfortably in the breast while keeping the breasts feeling soft and natural. In cases of capsular contracture, this tissue grows thicker and it hardens around the implant as it reacts to the presence of a foreign object in the body. Capsular contracture may develop in just a single breast or both breasts after breast augmentation.
Symptoms of Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture is associated with a number of symptoms. The breast(s) will likely begin to feel hard and tight, in some cases to the point that it causes physical discomfort or pain for the patient. The shape of the breast may also change as capsular contracture develops. The breasts can sit unusually high and many patients notice asymmetry between the two breasts. If any of these symptoms develop, patients should schedule an appointment with Dr. McCall so that she can determine if capsular contracture has developed.
Treating Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture can be treated, but it will likely involve a secondary surgery. In some cases, the use of the medication Accolate (typically used twice daily for three months) has been shown to soften the scar tissue that results in capsular contracture, but in most cases, a capsulectomy is required. During this procedure, the entire breast implant and its surrounding capsule will be removed. The breast pocket will then be thoroughly cleaned and a new implant will be placed.
There are several steps that may be taken to prevent the reoccurrence of capsular contracture. First, the new breast implant may be placed beneath the chest muscle, as this placement approach has been shown to be less likely to result in complications. Second, we will help to ensure that infection does not develop by placing patients on antibiotics during the initial weeks of surgical recovery. Finally, we will advise patients to practice breast massage during recovery, which some studies suggest may be useful in promoting healing and preventing complications.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have undergone breast augmentation surgery and suspect that you are suffering from capsular contracture, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tracy McCall at your earliest convenience to have capsular contracture diagnosed. We can help you eliminate the symptoms of capsular contracture. Dr. McCall will develop a safe and effective treatment plan to improve the appearance and feel of your breasts, and alleviate any discomfort caused by capsular contracture.