Contact Us  |  Locations

What causes capsular contracture?

Spread the love

What causes capsular contracture?Capsular contracture may occur due to a hardened breast implant. This may necessitate corrective/revision cosmetic surgery or breast implant replacement.


The Situation

This condition develops when a natural protective cover that holds the breast implant starts to harden and creates a squeezing pressure on the implant.

This natural protective capsule or cover is a healthy immune response of the body towards the implant that has been surgically inserted in the breast tissue during a breast enhancement procedure.

In case the thickening or contracting of the capsule occurs, it can lead to the implant becoming harder or moving from its position, losing its shape, and becoming painful.

This condition, called capsular contracture, is a complication that may develop in multiple breast implant procedures. Some estimates indicate that over 25 percent of all breast implant patients develop capsular contracture.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eugene Kim provides breast implant revision surgery to patients in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, CA, and surrounding locations.


Probable Reasons

Until now, researchers have not been able to establish the exact causes of capsular contracture. Consequently, identifying ways to prevent this condition still remains a challenge.

Once the exact reasons for the development of this condition are known, countermeasures can be taken to decrease the rate of incidence and improve the success rate of breast augmentation surgeries. Some hypotheses on why this condition develops are as follows:

  • Placement of the breast implant above the chest muscle instead of behind the muscle
  • Any type of body infection
  • Collection of blood serum within the breasts
  • Smoking
  • Radiation therapy after breast cancer


Microbial Contamination of the Breast Implant Shell

Capsular contracture is not entirely understood. Sometimes it may occur due to a tiny amount of bacteria that attaches to the outer portion of a breast implant in what is known as a “biofilm.”

These bacteria prompt an inflammatory response in the scar tissue around the implant, resulting in its contracture. In other cases, this condition may occur due to blood coming into contact with the implant.

Capsular contracture can be avoided by minimizing any bacterial contamination of the implant by cautious surgical technique as well as avoiding blood accumulation around the implant. The placement of the implant behind the muscle is helpful along with post-op implant massage.


Preventive Steps

Reducing the Risk of Hematoma and Seroma

In case bleeding occurs with the cavity where the implant has to be placed, it is known as a hematoma. If there is an accumulation of fluid in the cavity, it is called seroma.

Both these conditions may contribute to capsular contracture. The cosmetic surgery may decide to place drains into the cavity during the augmentation procedure.


Reducing the Risk of Infection

There may be a reduction in the risks of capsular contracture by minimizing the risk of infection. Prior to the procedure, the patient’s body should undergo intensive antiseptic cleaning to make sure that harmful bacteria in the surgical area are mitigated.

During and after the surgery, many surgeons use prophylactic antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. The newly developed breast cavity during surgery may be washed using an antibiotic solution to reduce the risk of infection further.  

Plastic surgeon Dr. Eugene Kim receives patients from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, CA, and nearby areas for breast implant revision surgery.

Click here see more plastic surgery procedures and treatments performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Eugene Kim on patients in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and surrounding areas or call 310-271-6996 to schedule a consultation.

Comments are closed.