Hi, Dr. Lowenstein here in Santa Barbara, I want to quickly cover what capsular contracture is. Now, a capsule is a natural response from the body to any implanted material, like a prosthetic hip, or a breast implant, or a pacemaker. All of these things have a soft, relatively thin capsule that forms around them when they're implanted, and that's natural and normal and good.

In some cases, however, that capsule can become thickened and can start to squeeze on the implanted material. It's not a big deal if you're talking about, let's say, a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a firm thing like a little deck of cards and cannot be deformed by that pressure. However, a breast implant, which is soft, can be deformed by that surrounding pressure if that capsule starts to contract on it, and we see things like rippling, movement of the implant, hardening of the implant, and rarely pain associated with the implant.

We can't always tell who this is going to happen to. It’s something that a tremendous amount of research is going into as far as the world of plastic surgery. However, there are certain things that we know that can decrease the risk of capsular contracture, such as placement of the implant behind the muscle using the inframammary incision. It has an 11% lower capsular contracture rate than using the incision around the areola, for example.

In my practice, I do a lot of things to do my best to reduce the instance of capsular contracture. We use nipple shields; we use Betadine around the incision before I put the implant in. I use something called a Keller Funnel. So the implant is hardly touching anything, including my gloves or your skin when it goes in. It's actually poured directly from the packing into the Keller Funnel and inserted into the pocket atraumatically.

So we do everything we can to try and maximize our situation, but that's what a capsular contracture is and those are some ways that we try and avoid it, and I am more than happy to go over any of this kind of stuff further if I can answer any questions for you when you come in for your consultation. Thanks!

How To Avoid Capsular Contracture Post-Op

Dr. Adam Lowenstein explains capsular contracture and what your surgeon can do to help prevent it.