I have had a capsulectomy due to capsular contraction, but now it has returned. I want an explant because they are uncomfortable and look unnatural. My doctor said that since the capsulectomy did not resolve the issue, he recommends having an explant and waiting about 6 months to a year. After my body has healed properly, he said that I can get implants again and will not get capsular contraction again. Is this accurate? Am I less likely to get capsular contraction or will I be free of capsular contraction? I’m also looking for a doctor experienced in explants.
The subject of hardened breast implants (Capsular Contracture) comes up frequently as it is the leading cause of long term dissatisfaction with breast implants. If your breasts tend to hurt or look unnatural, you likely have severe encapsulation (Baker Grade III or IV.) When contracture redevelops quickly after capsulectomy (assuming the operation was thorough,) this is worrisome as it may indicate a high tendency for recurrence. The main question when severe contracture is present is whether or not a cause can be identified. Bothersome contracture doesn’t happen to all patients. This kind of reaction is associated with cigarette smoking, bleeding, infection, silicone gel implants, poor soft tissue coverage and radiation exposure as well as a previous history of contracture. Some of these issues can be minimized in an attempt to reduce the tendency for encapsulation. Preventing the problem is the best solution.
While removal of your implants for a time with later replacement might improve the problem, this is not a “slam dunk” nor is it guaranteed to completely solve it. The results vary substantially. Usually removal with a good capsulectomy is the best thing for comfort. Implant replacement at times is thwarted by recurrence of the contracture.
Then again if you leave the implants in place things will not likely improve as you have had a trial of capsulectomy and replacement already. It is true however that a woman who has had her implants removed and not replaced frequently has them put in once again down the road due to appearance issues. This is not invariably the case however. Some women actually like the look of their breasts without implants after capsulectomy and explantation. The results of such surgery vary though.
These cases need to be handled individually and with a fair amount of disclosure before surgery is performed, so that everyone comes out satisfied. I don’t have one treatment that goes for all patients on the issue due to their inherent variability.
*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*