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What is Capsulectomy?

The procedure, also known as full implant capsule removal, is performed once contracture has reached a severity which considerably affects the look and feel of the breast or causes significant discomfort. The operation involves gaining entry to the breast interior via a surgical incision and removing the entire capsule of scar tissue surrounding the implant. Most commonly, this capsule is removed whole, to eliminate the chance of a recurrence. Implants are sometimes changed and placement is also sometimes revised, since the breast is already open. Full capsule removal is an invasive procedure, but it offers terrific results in resolving capsular constriction issues.

Effects of Capsulectomy

The main benefits are release of the unpleasant constriction of the breast implant caused by the capsules. Plus, the insertion of a new implant to replace the affected one will ensure a more natural looking appearance.

You will feel more confident and self-assured about your appearance. The breasts will be softer and more natural looking.

Candidates for Capsulectomy

Women who are experiencing a capsular contracture that is associated with breast shape dysphoria are good candidates for the procedure. Additional symptoms of pain or rupture of a silicone gel implant are even stronger indications for proceeding with surgical correction. Women’s breasts change with time and only performing a capsulectomy with replacement of the breast implants may not be sufficient in some instances to return the breast shape to the original post augmentation or optimal result. Assessment for the need of implant size and shape change as well as some form of a breast lift (mastopexy) is imperative.

Your Consultation

In your initial consultation, the Surgeon will evaluate your health and explain which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you, based on the condition of your breasts.

During your consultation the type of anesthesia to be used, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs involved will all be explained to you. Some insurance companies consider a capsulectomy to be medically necessary.

The Capsulectomy Procedure

A breast capsulectomy will take 2-3 hours to complete. The patient is required to be under general anaesthetic and an overnight hospital stay is normally required.

This is the most successful treatment for capsule contracture but is rarely undertaken. In this procedure, the surgeon goes in and actually removes the scar capsule. This is a lengthier surgery, but is well worth it, especially when it’s successful. Once the capsule is removed, your body will form a new capsule around the breast implant.

Recovery

Light activity is permissible the day after your operation. Strenuous activity is not recommended for at least 10 days. Full recovery is normally made within 1 –2 weeks.

Risks

Any surgical procedure has inherent risks related to infection, bleeding, poor surgical result or anesthetic use. In addition, capsule removal procedures have other specific risks including the loss of nipple or breast sensitivity, the loss of breastfeeding ability and the possible recurrence of the contracture problem. Make sure to discuss of these risks with your doctor prior to the procedure and ask them what can be done to reduce the chances of another contracture condition. Remember also that this is an invasive full surgical procedure and it will take considerable recovery time to feel fully well again.

FAQs

How does it work?

Your surgeon will choose an incision point to ensure minimal scarring. Entry points include the lower breast crease where your breast meets your chest, the area near your armpit, or through the areola (the dark area surrounding your nipple). The skin and breast tissue are then lifted and part or the entire capsule is removed. It is not uncommon to remove the old implant and replace with a new one at the same time.

Are there any side effects?

Cohesive gel silicone implants is the implant of choice by most surgeons. The cohesive nature of the silicone used prevents leakage and deflation if the implant shell is ruptured. Side effects following surgery include soreness and swelling of the breast, but these symptoms are temporary. Nausea may also be experienced as a side effect of any general anaesthetic administered.

Who is not suitable for breast capsulectomy surgery?

If you are under 18 then you may be considered too young for this procedure. However, exceptions are made for girls aged 16 or 17 and you may be one of these. Your age and your reasons for this surgery will be discussed with your surgeon.

How long does breast capsulectomy surgery last?

This will last for a long period of time. Keep in mind though that capsules always form around breast implants and as long as they do not show any abnormal growth then you will be fine.

There is always the risk of them hardening and thickening but this is much rarer than it used to be.

Breast implants tend to last for around ten years or so you may require further surgery to replace these.

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