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Understanding Capsular Contracture & Why Breast Implant Removal May Be Warranted

By: Dr. Christopher Khorsandi


Implant Removal

While breast augmentation is still the most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the United States, in some rare cases patients endure complications with their breast implants. Capsular contracture is one of those issues which can be treated but for some patients removing the implants altogether is the only solution.

Dr. Christopher Khorsandi is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas. As a highly recommended expert, Dr. Khorsandi is well-versed with breast augmentation procedures along with breast implant removal as needed. Dr. Khorsandi can help determine the best solution for your situation if you are experiencing complications like capsular contracture and why being in the right surgical hands is imperative. Here is some helpful information from Dr. Khorsandi on capsular contracture and why breast implant removal is not as uncommon as you may think.

Breast implant acceptance

The human body is amazing and when a foreign object, like a breast implant, comes into the picture then the immune system kicks in. Breast tissue and chest muscles don’t automatically accept a new breast implant as a “natural” part of the landscape, so the body will create a sac or capsule around it to essentially seal it off. This is the body’s way of not allowing the implant to spread or wander off. This formation of a sac or capsule is a natural part of the process with breast augmentation surgery but in some cases, it can cause complications.

What is capsular contracture?

A sac or capsule around the breast implant is normal and is essentially scar tissue from surgery. However, in some cases, the capsule or scar tissue can become too thick or restrictive on the implant causing a patient to experience discomfort, implant movement, and make the breast hard to the touch. Capsular contracture can occur with any type of breast implant but is more often seen with silicone and textured implant devices. Some patients may experience a slight capsular contracture which goes unnoticed while others may have a severe case of it. The severity of capsular contracture is done on a grading scale and can be determined by a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Khorsandi.

Capsular contracture grading scale

Depending on the severity, some patients may have capsular contracture and barely notice it while others may experience more severe symptoms. Capsular contracture is determined by the Baker Scale and involves the following:

Grade I- Breast appears normal and is soft to the touch.

Grade II-Breast appears normal but is slightly hard to the touch.

Grade III-Breast is distorted in shape and is hard to the touch.

Grade IV-Breast has all the characteristics of a level 3 but the hardening of the capsule is much greater.

Options for treatment

Patients in the Las Vegas area who are experiencing stiff breast tissue or discomfort should seek help. Depending on the severity, there are treatment options for capsular contracture. In less severe cases, surgery may not be needed. Ultrasound, massage, and certain medications can help reduce the stiffness of the capsule. In more severe cases, surgery, also known as a capsulectomy, may be needed in order to loosen up the scar tissue and in some cases replace the implant. Unfortunately, in rare cases some patients have to consider complete removal of their implants due to severe capsular contracture.

Why removal may be necessary

The formation of the capsule or sac after breast augmentation is normal, but when it becomes too thick around the implant it can be extremely painful. The scar tissue thickness becomes so severe that is squeezes the implant which can distort the shape and cause the breast to be hard to the touch. If a patient has excessive scar tissue (Grade IV) then implant removal may be necessary. During a consultation with Dr. Khorsandi, he will make sure this is the right solution as well as give his patients a detailed treatment plan of the next steps needed so that the implant is removed safely, and patients are left with a natural-looking result.

Breast implant illness

Another cause for possibly needing to have your breast implants removed is called breast implant illness or BII. It is not an identified medical term yet but there are some patients who experience illness type symptoms after having breast augmentation surgery. It can be a variety of symptoms such as chronic pain, rash, chills, and headaches to name a few. Even though it is not an official medical diagnosis, breast implant illness has gotten social media recognition and more patients are reporting they are not alone. This may also be another reason to remove the breast implants. If a patient’s body rejects the implant devices causing them to feel ill, then considering your overall health is more important than keeping your breast implants.

Dr. Khorsandi strives to give Las Vegas patients the best resolution to any complications. When it comes to patients who are experiencing capsular contracture, his main goal will be to determine if implant removal is even necessary and to discuss any treatment options. In some situations, capsular contracture is so severe that the only solution is to remove the breast implant. Dr. Khorsandi will resolve any issues and determine if you need a breast lift or fat injections so you are left with natural-looking results even without your implants.

Dr. Christopher Khorsandi is one of the leading experts in plastic surgery in the Las Vegas area. He has helped countless women and men get the results they want as well as get help with any issues or complications. Breast implant removal is rare, but, in some cases, deemed necessary. His experience and personal care for each patient will give you the best end result even if removing your breast implants is the only course of action. If you are concerned you have capsular contracture or are needing help with your breast implants, then call or schedule a consultation with Dr. Khorsandi at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.