After breast augmentation cosmetic surgery, scar tissue or capsule formation occurs naturally around the breast implants. Sometimes the capsule may tend to thicken, which will squeeze the implants.
The implant may become misshapen, move from its position, become misaligned, or get damaged in this condition. In cases of severe capsular contracture, the surgeon may recommend implant capsule removal surgery or capsulectomy.
The capsule may be removed completely or partially, and the breast implant may be reinserted into the original breast pocket, or replaced with a new implant. At times, during implant replacement, the surgeon may have to develop a new breast pocket to place a different size or type of implant.
Women who develop capsular contracture after primary breast enhancement surgery will need to undergo capsulectomy. Capsular contracture can develop at any stage after the implant procedure, and the exact reasons for this occurrence are still being studied.
The patient may require a capsulectomy cosmetic surgery when the capsule formation becomes so hard and thick that the patient can actually feel the scar tissue wall, or experience hardness or pain, or position or shape of the implant is visibly distorted.
Total or Partial Capsulectomy
Breast capsulectomy is typically undertaken as open surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon will cut through the scar tissue top open up the breast capsule and replace or remove the implant. Closed capsulectomy is not recommended as it leads to more pain and has the risk of causing the implant to rupture.
The plastic surgeon may recommend total capsulectomy or sub-total capsulectomy, depending on the patient’s needs. Total capsulectomy involves the removal of the entire capsule and replacing the implant with a new one.
On the other hand, the sub-total procedure involves only partial capsule removal. This is performed only if the implant has not broken or moved from its initial position.
The implant is typically replaced with a new one, even in sub-total capsulectomy. The surgeon’s goal is to remove the troublesome capsule and replace it with a new implant to ensure that the procedure becomes more sustainable than the previous one.
The surgeon has various options available for incision placement and implant position, and the decision will depend on the patient’s condition and specific breast anatomy.
The surgeon will break open the scar tissue to release tension and subsequently remove the capsule. After this, they will place an incision either in the armpit, around the border of the areola, or beneath the breast crease.
Through the incision, the surgeon will insert the new implant and place it in the desired position. They will then seal the incisions with fine sutures and apply a light dressing to cover the incisions against infection. In general, the procedure is more complex than primary breast enhancement surgery.
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.