When having any plastic surgery done, there are risks your surgeon will warn you about before performing any procedures to ensure you are aware of any possible complications. The human body will form a scar around any foreign object. Therefore, anyone with a breast augmentation will form a capsule, but only a few will develop capsular contracture.
Capsular contracture is a common complication that can occur when the scar tissue that forms around the implant starts to contract and squeeze the implants causing them to become rigid. While it may be the most common complication after a breast augmentation, it is quite rare. A capsular contraction will cause the breast to feel firm, look misshaped, or have a sharp, round edge around it, and worst-case scenario could be painful.
While there is no particular cause for capsular contracture, there are few concrete theories on how to best prevent one from forming.
Preventing Capsular Contracture:
- Preoperative and postoperative medicine. Your plastic surgeon might include a dose of intravenous antibiotics before making any surgical incisions. They might also prescribe postoperative antibiotics to prevent infections until the surgical drains are removed.
- Drains. Your plastic surgeon will place a surgical drain to remove any wound fluids or blood produced by the body around the implant that could cause capsular contracture. After drains are removed, it’s also important to avoid showering near the surgical area until after 24 hours.
- Placing the implant under the muscle. By doing this, the risks of forming a capsular contracture are lower than when placing the breast implant above the chest muscle.
- Avoid specific procedures after surgery. It is crucial to avoid any dental, gynecological, urological, or gastrointestinal procedure. These body cavities contain bacteria; therefore, the physician will suggest taking a prophylactic antibiotic to prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream and infecting the implant. Patients should follow these instructions for about 3 months after a BA procedure.
It’s important to remember that there are risks for all surgical procedures and the chances of forming a capsular contracture are slim. Following your doctor’s instructions before and after a breast augmentation lowers your chances of any post-surgery complications and ensures a smooth recovery.