The word “capsule” refers to scar tissue. After a breast augmentation, scar tissue helps to keep the breast implant in place as part of the normal healing process that occurs any time a foreign object is inserted. Capsular contracture happens when the capsule becomes unusually hard and starts to contract around the implant. This can deform the shape of the breast, and in severe cases, it can lead to pain in the breast.

When you are experiencing capsular contracture symptoms in Houston as described below, reach out to board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Olivier Deigni as soon as you can.

Causes of Capsular Contracture

There is currently no consensus on what exactly causes capsular contracture. Researchers believe genetics play a role in who develops this condition and who does not.

Patients who have a family history of autoimmune disease or relatives who tend to develop fixed scar tissue after injury may be at a slightly higher risk of developing capsular contracture. Other causes include implant rupture, bacteria called a biofilm that can cause chronic low-grade infection, and hematomas, which are collections of blood and clotting material.

Although it is impossible to prevent capsular contracture from occurring in every patient, there are several ways to lower the risk of developing this condition. These include:

  • Screening for health conditions that might increase the risk of complications such as hematomas
  • Refraining from smoking, because smoking makes hematoma formation more likely
  • Minimal handling of the breast implants before it is inserted in a patient’s breast, which helps prevent any bacterial contamination
  • Placing the implant underneath the pectoralis major muscle, which has been associated with the decrease in the risk of capsular contracture

Even with these measures in place, Houston patients may still develop capsular contracture symptoms and should contact their doctor when they occur.

The Four Grades of Capsular Contracture

The degree of contraction of the scar tissue helps breast surgeons understand the severity of the capsular contracture. It is a spectrum, with Grade One being the least concerning, to Grade Four, based on severity of the scar contraction and symptoms.

  • Grade One is a capsule that does not interfere with the size and shape of the breasts. The breast looks natural and remains soft to the touch.
  • Grade Two involves minor cosmetic symptoms—the breasts usually appear normal in shape, but feel somewhat firm to the touch.
  • Grade Three presents with obvious cosmetic symptoms, and the breasts are firm to the touch and appear abnormal. For example, they may have an overly round or hard appearance and the nipples may be misshapen.
  • Grade Four is like Grade Three but with breast soreness, and the breasts are often tender and painful to the touch.

Capsular contraction symptoms in Houston can happen after any kind of medical implant is inserted into the body. This condition is not unique to breast augmentation surgery and is not caused by the breast implant being toxic or dangerous.

Call Us When You Experience Symptoms of Capsular Contracture in Houston

As soon as you begin to experience capsular contracture symptoms in Houston, you should contact Deigni Plastic Surgery at 281-721-4373 and schedule a consultation. Once Dr. Deigni is alerted to your condition, appropriate steps can be taken to treat you and help restore your breast shape.

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