Capsular Contracture Correction?

I have had my saline filled, behind the muscle, 350 CC implants for 11 years. I have capsular contracture in both and my natural breast has sagged from two pregnancies. I have consulted a surgeon about correcting this. He suggests replacing the implant in between the muscle and a breast lift. Can my implants be reused? He says I have about 10-12 years left in them. I'm happy without the implants if I get them removed but happier if I keep them. I'm curious about your opinion on this.

Doctor Answers 13

Capsular Contracture Correction?

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 Sorry to hear about the complications you have experienced. Capsular contraction can be a very frustrating complication for both patients and surgeons.  In my practice, I have found the most success treating these difficult problems utilizing techniques such as sub muscular pocket conversion (if relevant), capsulectomy, use of fresh implants, and the use of acellular dermal matrix.  Acellular dermal matrix is a biologic implant that carries the ability to become integrated into native tissue. It is made by taking a full thickness section of skin from a donor source (his human, porcine, or bovine in origin).  I hope this, and the attached link ( demonstrating a case utilizing acellular dermal matrix) helps. 

Capsular contracture correction and re-using implants

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It is nearly always suggested that the pocket be changed during a correction of a capsular contraction. Placing Strattice at the time would also significantly reduce your chance of recurrent capsular contracture. I would not recommend re-using your saline implants as their longevity is nearing the end. Also consider going with gel implants as you will probably find them to be softer and more natural feeling.

Philip L. Sonderman, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon

Re-using breast implants

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I never re-use the implants.  Statistics have shown higher contamination rates which have been linked to increased risk of capsular contracture.

Capsular Contracture Correction

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In the setting of capsular contracture, I would suggest exchanging implants if you desire to keep the volume that implants can give.  Changing the site of the implants may be beneficial, but more important is opening and perhaps removing the capsule (or portions of it) and exchanging the implants. 

Asaad H. Samra, MD
New Jersey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Correcting capsule contracture

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I recommend open capsulotomies and perhaps exchange of the implants.  I am not a big fan of converting to submammary from submuscular.  I think submuscular is a far superior position for implants.  You may need a lift, but I cannot be sure without a picture.

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Replace implants

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Hi, I would definitely replace them.   There are newer better implants on the market now also.  

Michael A. Fiorillo, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

To Replace Implants in the Case of Capsular Contracture

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    Implants should be replaced in the case of capsular contracture.  The rest of the surgeon's plan sounds reasonable as well.

Capsular contracture treatment

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Current thinking is that that biofilms are involved with causing capsular contracture - thats why you need to change the implant. I like to do complete capsulectomies with implant exchange for capsular contracture and most of the time i will place Strattice acellular dermal matrix as well. Most reports (including my series) show low recurrence rates of capsular contracture with use of Strattice

Jason Pozner, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Capsular contracture options

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The real question is what is the etiology of your capsular contracture.  It is not unusual to see a woman who has developed a capsular contracture following pregnancy.  It is theorized that this is due to a bacterial contamination of the implant.  If your goal is to improve the shape and softness of your breast then you should consider a complete capsulectomy and replacement with new implants as well as a breast lift.  If your implants are under the muscle now then your surgeon may consider a neopocket this would help prevent an overdissection of the pocket especially if you elect to use smaller implants in the revision procedure.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Remove Implants??

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 If your implants have developed capsular contracture they are usually removed and replaced. So, no your implants would not normally be reused. If you have sagging of the breasts this is normally corrected with a breast lift or mastopexy. Since you allegedly have 350cc breast implants, there is approximately 200cc per cup size and you will drop at least 1/2 to 1 cup size with a breast lift then, if you have your Implants Removed and get a Breast Lift (mastopexy) you will most likely DROP at least TWO CUP SIZES. I hope this is of assistance. Best,


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon

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.