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What is Capsular Contracture of the Breast?

Posted on: September 15th, 2016
By: admin

When a foreign object such as breast implants, a pacemaker, or an artificial joint is inserted into the body, it will form a protective scar capsule around the object. It is a natural healing response and is expected.

Baker Scale Grades Firmness of the Breast

For some breast augmentation patients, during the first year of healing, the capsule that forms around the breast implant may shrink (contract). The web of fibrous material making up the capsule tightens and squeezes the implant, making it feel hard. There are varying degrees of encapsulation. Dr. James Baker created the “Baker Scale of Capsular Contracture,” which is used worldwide to grade the degree of firmness of an augmented breast.

• Baker Grade l     The breast feels soft and appears normal
• Baker Grade ll    The breast feels slightly firm but appears normal
• Baker Grade lll    The breast feels firm and appears abnormal
• Baker Grade lV   The breast feels hard, appears abnormal and is painful

Capsular contracture in San Francisco

A 39-year-old mother of 5 with recurrent breast capsular contracture on her right side. Her surgical treatment was a complete capsulectomy (breast capsule scar removal) from the right side and breast implant replacement.

Capsular Contracture Affects Only a Few

Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. states that capsular contracture can develop at any time, but is more prevalent in the first few months after breast augmentation surgery. Fortunately, only a small percentage of women develop a problematic contracture.

According to a publication in the US National Library of Medicine at the National Institute of Health, capsular contracture usually is a result of subclinical colonization of bacteria within the implant pocket.

New Techniques to Combat Capsular Contracture

With all the latest techniques to minimize the chances of capsular contracture, the contracture can still occur. However, the rate has been greatly reduced in recent years thanks to techniques such as placement of the implant under the muscle, the Keller funnel (a device that allows the surgeon to insert the implant without touching it), and antibiotics.

Make an Appointment Today!

If you have been suffering from capsular contracture, call now (415) 898-4161 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Delgado to find out what options are available to you.

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