What Are the Chances of Getting Capsular Contracture Again?

I have had my implants in for a little under 3 years. I have saline and got them done through my belly button. I have capsular contracture in my left implant. I went back to my plastic surgeon 6 months after surgery with my concern. He told me it was a mild case and there was nothing I could do. He said I could still get it again in a future operation. Is it harder to get capsular contracture with a different type of surgery? And what is my chance/percentage of getting it again?

Doctor Answers 6

What are the chances of getting capsular contracture again?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Recurrent capsular contracture is a very difficult problem. Assuming you tried conservative measures in the past - implant massage and may add the medication Singulair and Vitamin E. If these fail, surgical correction may be necessary. 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 capule 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. Irrigating with certain medications may also be if benefit. Some other things that may have been tried include changing the position of your implant, addition of a dermal matrix, or consideration for the the shaped, textured, anatomical gel implants.

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 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. At a 3rd recurrence, it may continue to occur despite all of these modalities and consideration for explantation or living with the contracture are options. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Capsular contracture recurrence - consider Strattice

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Agree with the other plastic surgeons. If the capsular contracture bothers you it needs to be treated. The approach would be either areolar or inframammary and recurrence rate even with a site change (ie subglandular to submuscular) is significant. The use of acellular dermal matrix like Strattice or Alloderm along with complete capsulectomy seems to really reduce the recurrence rate of capsular contracture. I have almost 3 year data on Strattice for capsular contracture (20 plus cases) and so far no recurrences. (paper accepted for publication)

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

Repeat capsular contracture

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You will need a crease incision now to deal with the capsular contracture because the scar tissue can't be released and removed through the belly button and a new implant placed.  Your new risk for a repeat CC statistically is 20-25%.

Capsular Contracture Does Have Fairly High Recurrence Rate

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There is a fairly high rate of recurrence after attempts to correct capsular contracture surgically.  The rate is especially high if the implant is placed back in the same area.  There seems to be improved results when the new implant is placed into a "virgin area".

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

The chance of getting a capsular contracture with a breast implant revision is probably between 5 and 15 percent.

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Capsular contracture in the primary patient that is significant enough to warrant consideration for treatment is about 5%.  It sounds like that is the situation for your left breast.  Surgery cannot guarantee that a contracture would not form again.  As a matter of fact, it probably increases the risk relative to the first time breast augmentation patient.  Furthermore, the operation to fix the contracture would not be able to be done through the umbilical incision.

Capsular contracture

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Dealing with a capsular contracture now will require a different approach most likely from in inframammary approach. 

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