If you had capsular contracture in the past, will it return again with breast implants?

I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction tissue expanders. One side my stitches split open before leaving the hospital and was sent home with an open wound that never healed. I did not have radiation! Back to surgery to close the wound and and replace TE, 3 months later the other TE ruptured. I developed capsular contracture on the open wound side. If I try this again now 2 years later am I wasting my time, will it result in capsular contracture again?

Doctor Answers 6

Capsular Contracture

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Your risk of developing capsular contracture again is approximately 50% if the same type of implant is placed in the same position.

Sarasota Plastic Surgeon

Capsular contracture risk

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If you have had a capsular contracture in the past, there is certainly a risk of developing another one. There are several different manuevers to help minimize this risk of recurrence.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Capsular Contracture Recurrence?

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The chance of you experiencing another complication after having waiting 2 years is small. Your skin flaps have revascularized and this fact alone decreases your chances of another complication. Revisit your reconstruction with your plastic surgeon, or visit with another if you desire. 

Best of Luck

David Shifrin, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Recurrent capsules

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Things that can help reduce the risk of a capsule are the use a acellular dermal matrix products like Alloderm. Your surgeon can explain how these work. Using your own tissue, provided you are a candidate, is also an option. Meet with an experienced breast reconstruction surgeon, they can detail all of your options for you.

If plan A did not work I don't repeat plan A!

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If you cam to me for a consult I would not recommend placement of expanders again.  I don't know your age but I expect that you would like a procedure that will be durable over the rest of your life.  Great options include using your lower abdominal tissue in the form of the DIEP flap or your inner thigh tissue, a PAP flap.  The flaps and other tissue reconstructions are routinely performed in my practice and high extremely high patient satisfaction.

Risk of recurrent contracture higher, but still can be ok.

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You are not wasting your time by trying again, but the risk of a recurrent contracture is probably higher given that it has happened once already.  Revision may be done in a few ways, but none of them will guarantee a contracture will not recur.   It is very reasonable to try and many women have obtained success after this sort of early setback.

Thomas A. Pane, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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.