Skip to main content

Breast Augmentation: What Is Capsular Contracture?

Schedule a Consultation
Posted March 12, 2014 in News

113Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures, with several hundred thousand being performed every year. One of the risks of breast augmentation surgery is capsular contracture, but what does that mean? How can it be prevented? Well go into more detail about what exactly the term means for your breast augmentation surgery in Northern Virginia.

What Is Capsular Contracture?

When you have a breast implant inserted into the breast, the body will create a protective tissue lining around it. This happens to every patient, no matter what kind of implant you get. However, in some patients, the protective tissue lining (known as the tissue capsule) will shrink around the implant, causing the breast to feel very firm. This contraction of the capsule is capsular contracture, and can give the breasts an unattractive, hardened look.

The Stages of Capsular Contracture

There are four stages of capsular contracture, named the Baker grades after the surgeon who divided the stages:

1. Grade one means the breasts looks and feels normal. Most patients fall here.

2. Grade two means the patient has a normal looking breast, but it feels slightly firm due to the capsule contracting.

3. In grade three, the breast feels firm and looks slightly distorted by the contraction.

4. In grade four, the breast feels firm, looks distorted, and may cause some discomfort.

How To Prevent It

The cause of capsular contracture isnt known, so its difficult to narrow down one method of preventing it from happening. Some scientists believe capsular contracture is a low-grade infection, so selecting a surgeon who uses only the most sterile surgical methods may help. Some surgeons use the no-touch method, where the implants are submerged in antibiotic solution until they are implanted, and the surgeon only touches them with clean gloves coated in antibiotic solution.

After surgery, you can reduce your chances of developing capsular contracture by following the surgeons post-operative directions about self-massage. Gently massaging the breasts will help the implants settle in their pocket and will lessen the formation of scar tissue.

If you have any questions about breast augmentation in Northern Virginia, please call our office at (703) 574-2588.

Connect With Us