Treatment of Capsular Contracture

We know that breast capsular contracture is a thickening and shrinkage of the scar tissue that surrounds all breast implants. This shrinkage causes the breast implant to become compressed, hard and misshapen.

Conservative Treatment: This is non-operative treatment. The patient is advised to push the breast implant in an effort to stretch out the shrinking capsule. Any way to press firmly on the breast to cause stretch of the capsule is helpful. We do not really know how long or how hard to press, but within reason the firmer the better for as long as reasonably possible, without causing actual injury.

Surgical Treatment: This takes it one step further. Parts of the breast capsule can be removed – even removal of all of the capsule might be possible. Also cuts can be made in the capsule causing the capsule to be divided into several parts which can spread apart. This gives the breast implant more room to move around. Of course new scar tissue will grow between the parts of the capsule or all around the breast implant if the capsule has been removed. We hope that the new scar tissue will be thin and will not become thickened and shrink like the previous scar tissue, but we do not know. This is because we cannot treat the actual cause because we do not know what the cause is. I also like to replace the breast implant because of the theory that some contamination of the breast implant might contribute to the cause. If we did not replace the breast implant and the capsular contracture comes back quickly, we would always wonder if we would have had a better outcome if the breast implant had been replaced.