What Can I Expect From Capsulectomy Recovery?

Scheduled capsulectomy/right fold lowering on 10-13.I will have a drain put in & expect to have it in for min. 5 days.what can i expect to feel from the drain being there - pain?annoyance?is recovery from revision much more difficult?i am a photographer & have a wedding to photograph 9 days post op-after initial implant placement i went back to work 6 days post op,no real issues.is this a reasonable amount of time for recovery for 2nd procedure?any advice on what to expect post-op is appreciated

Doctor Answers 7

What can I expect from capsulectomy recovery?

Hello! Thank you for your question! It is a matter of surgeon preference as well as what is seen during your procedure that will determine whether or not a complete capsulectomy is performed. If significant capsule formation is seen intraoperatively, a full capsule removal may be warranted with a drain in order to completely remove all of the tissue and allow better adherence of your breast back to its normal anatomic position down on your chest wall. If minimal contracture is seen, it may be possible to leave the capsule, or place cuts within the capsule to allow better adherence. It truly is dependent on what is seen with your capsule and the issues that may be causing you to have such a procedure (e.g., contracture from rutptured implant vs pain vs simple pocket adjustment, etc).  Implants mayor may not be replaced depending on your discussion and reason for capsulectomy. 

Without knowing your issues and without an examination, it is difficult to tell you what may be the best thing for you. I tend to favor performing capsulectomies (in an en bloc fashion) in order to create a fresh pocket, reshape the pocket, allow better shape and adherence of the overlying breast. I would discuss your issues with your plastic surgeon who will assist you in determining the right modality for you. Most patients tolerate this procedure very well with minimal downtime.  It is typically an outpatient procedure with most being able to resume activities within a few days along with restrictions for a week or so.  Many surgeons will recommend a postoperative garment for several weeks postop as well.  Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

One week off work, six weeks before physical activity.

It’s not unusual for patients who undergo capsulectomy surgery to be concerned about the recovery from this type of procedure. It’s important to realize that each patient’s situation is unique and for this reason recovery varies from patient to patient.
We generally recommend that patients take a week off from work. Patients who have desk jobs may return sooner. In most cases, drains have been removed within a week of surgery. Light exercise can usually be undertaken at about two weeks, and strenuous physical activity can be resumed at six weeks.At that time, we tell patients that they can return to full activity, without restrictions.
When all of these factors are considered, most patients feel that the recovery was less difficult than expected.

Capsulectomy Recovery

While each patient and each case is different, the healing process post capsulectomy is similar to the original breast augmentation. However, many patient find it easier as the submuscular pocket is already created. Patients generally can start light activity after 3 to 5 days.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Capsulectomy recovery.

Post-Operative Healing following Capsulectomy varies from patient to patient.Below are some generalizations.
Patients will feel sore and tired during the first 48 to 72 hours following surgery.  During these first few days, the patient should engage in light activities, refraining from lifting or raising the arms above the head.

Swelling and bruising will subside during the first week after surgery and will be controlled by pain medication.  The initial dressings will be removed a few weeks after surgery during a post operative visit.  Patients typically may return to a work a few days after surgery (only a light workload during the first two weeks).

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Recovery after capsulectomy

Recovery after capsulectomy is much like that after breast augmentation, though often the discomfort is less as the submuscular pocket causes the most soreness and is already present. We don't understand the drain and don't use one. If the breast pocket is dry as the implant is replaced the drain only seems a potential two way street for contamination of the implant.

Best of luck, peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

What Can I Expect From Capsulectomy Recovery? Are 9 days Sufficient?

The majority of discomfort after breast Augmentation is related to the creation of the pocket for the implant, the skin stretching by the implant and a small amount to the short skin incision. In your case, I am assuming your surgeon will use the same incision, the implant will be removed, the majority of the scar tissue (Capsule will be peeled off along with the implant, the new implant pocket will then be washed with antibiotic solution, a small drain will be placed and exited in the arm pit to hide the scar (and will be mildly annoying for a few days), another implant will be placed and the incision closed. The recovery will be much easier than the first operation. I would recommend you wear bra support immediately to minimize making the pocket larger by implant movement as well as decrease fluid creation. By 9 days, the drain will be out and you should be able to shoot the wedding.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Capsulectomy Recovery

Thank you for the question.

As you can imagine every patient responds differently to surgical procedures. However,  based on the description of recovery after your first operation,  I would anticipate a relatively painless recovery for you  after capsulectomy  surgery.  I also think that your plan in regards to return to work is reasonable.

The use of a drain after capsulectomy is quite common. Usually it is more an annoyance than a pain  issue. 

Please do  run these questions by your surgeon is well since he/she knows your situation best and can  give you a more accurate estimation of recovery time.

Best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.