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Are there any long term side effects if I let capsular contracture go for awhile?

Q:

I had breast surgery about a year ago and the left breast never healed properly. The areola is indented and the left breast is narrow. I went to my doctor and he said I have capsular contracture in the left breast and a slight constriction.  My question is, is it worth fixing?  Will this happen again?  Are there any long term side effects if I let it go for a long period of time?

A:

Capsular contracture following a breast augmentation is fortunately uncommon.  We think it is the patient's reaction to the prosthetic material (i.e. the implant).  Yes, it can be fixed but can be quite expensive to correct.  Recent studies have shown that the use of synthetic dermis in the re-visional surgery can dramatically reduce the incidence of capsular contracture.  Unfortunately the cost of just the synthetic dermis can run from $2,500 to $5,000 per side. 

If you let the capsular contracture continue it most likely will get worse/tighter and cause you symptoms of pain and discomfort.  Please consider a consult with one of the many members of the ASAPS to address your concerns on this complicated issue.

Best,

 

Gary R. Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

There are no long term side effects of leaving a breast capsular contracture alone other than your discomfort.  The symptoms are tightness and the feeling of something hard on the chest that can feel hard when you lay on it.  Sometimes, there is continuous discomfort.  Short of this, many women have lived for 20-30 years with a contracture.  If you have the breast augmentation redone, the contracture can recur.  To try and prevent this, you should have the redo done with a different type of implant (textured vs smooth), have the implant put in a different pocket, use an acellular dermal matrix, or a combination.  Discuss your options with a Plastic Surgeon who has had significant experience in revision procedures.

A:

You can leave things as is, as long as you are comfortable.

When things become symptomatic and you are uncomfortable then you can discuss your options.

If an MRI , or Mammogram show implant rupture, then that is another story.  Otherwise, you can wait.

A:

Capsular contraction that is not corrected will tend to increase in severity over time.  Although there are no generalized health effects that I am aware of, and most patients have a capsular contraction the capsule was removed and a textured implant with acellular dermis is used to replace the implant.  Please consult your plastic surgeon for an examination and advice.

A:

Capsular contraction that is not corrected will tend to increase in severity over time.  Although there are no generalized health effects that I am aware of, most patients who have a capsular contraction prefer to have it removed and a textured implant with acellular dermis  used to replace the implant.  Please consult your plastic surgeon for an examination and advice.

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