What is capsular contracture?

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What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Breast augmentation or reconstruction, popular cosmetic procedures, are essential for acquiring desirable physical characteristics, especially, in gender affirmation surgeries. Capsular contracture is a natural response of the body where a thick scar tissue capsule grows around a foreign object, such as a breast implant. In certain surgical scenarios, this condition can affect surgical outcomes and patient satisfaction, often requiring remedial procedures. This article delves into the underlying cause, clinical signs, risk factors, and available treatment options for the complication.

What triggers the development of capsular contracture?

Breast implants may sometimes result in a complication called capsular contracture. This condition can cause the breasts to become firm, which over time may lead to pain and changes in shape and volume. As a result, corrective surgery may be necessary to address this issue.

When the doctors introduce an implant, they encase it in a fibrous capsule. The capsule of a healthy breast typically maintains a thin and soft consistency and generally does not affect its appearance. However, in instances of contracture, the capsule may become thicker and harder, leading to a change in breast shape and the position of the implant. This phenomenon is proposed to be caused by a prolonged inflammatory process that transforms a normal foreign body response into a pathological one in the implant pocket. You must know that collagen-rich tissue surrounds the implants during this inflammatory phase. This could have serious repercussions, especially if breast augmentation is necessary during gender affirmation procedures to acquire the ideal physical attributes.

Which signs indicate the presence of capsular contracture?

Capsular contracture can cause physical discomfort and aesthetic dissatisfaction in people attempting gender affirmation. Therefore, rigorous preoperative evaluation, specialised surgical techniques, and skilled patient guidance are necessary to reduce the risks. Risk factors for the development of capsular contracture include genetics, implant type—silicone or saline—implant site, and surgical methods. 

The Baker classification, however, distinguishes four stages of capsular contracture. Grade I shows normal softness, Grade II suggests slight firmness, Grade III indicates significant firmness with apparent distortion, and Grade IV denotes excruciating rigidity and obvious distortion. Please keep in mind that due to the potential for persistent pain and stiffness, doctors typically recommend surgical intervention required for Grade III and Grade IV contractures. 

Which medical strategies can be employed for managing capsular contracture? 

The objective of managing capsular contracture is to minimise the likelihood of its occurrence and mitigate patient risks. This would help achieve satisfactory cosmetic outcomes. Treatment methods include both surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Non-surgical treatment options include massage therapy and prescribed medication. Breast implants may need to be replaced or removed due to capsular contracture. This can be addressed through surgical techniques such as capsulectomy. This surgical technique involves the removal of scar tissue. Nevertheless, surgeons must weigh risks while safeguarding patient safety against potential side effects, including pneumothorax or nerve damage. The effectiveness of complete versus partial capsulectomy in preventing recurrences is still debatable and calls for personalised clinical expertise.

Management decisions regarding breast reconstruction can affect the treatment options available for patients who have undergone radiation therapy. This is because radiation-associated risks include contracture, rupture, hematoma, and infection. In addition, the relevance of infection prevention is highlighted by the fact that bacterial colonisation causes severe contracture

Therefore, in order to prevent contracture recurrence, some patients might choose flap reconstruction. This is a challenging procedure that prevents capsule formation around flaps. As a result, addressing capsular contracture in gender affirmation procedures requires individualised care, close observation, and risk minimisation, particularly against infections.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Fact Check
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What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

What do you understand by capsular contracture?
What is referred to as a capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a potential negative outcome of breast augmentation or reconstruction procedures, particularly those done for gender affirmation. This condition causes a tight capsule of scar tissue to form around breast implants, causing discomfort and deformity to varied degrees. Therefore, depending on the degree of distortion produced, both surgical and nonsurgical means can be used to address the problem.

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Dr. Saumya Saluja
Dr. Saumya Saluja
A periodontal surgeon by qualification, Dr. Saumya is responsible for reviewing health content and driving health literacy projects.
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