Correcting Breast Contracture and Other Complications
Capsular contracture is one of the most common complications of breast augmentation. Contracture causes hardening at the breast and usually deformity. Contracture results when the normal scar tissue pocket that forms around each breast implant (the CAPSULE) shrinks in size and forces the implant into the shape of a ball, usually pushing it upwards too far above the nipple. This produces an unnatural rim at the upper edge of the implant and this appearance makes it obvious that such patients have had a breast augmentation. Dr. Smith facetiously calls this appearance, also caused by too large an implant or inadequate release of the muscle, the "People" magazine look.
Capsular contracture commonly produces pain and discomfort. Although other procedures may be required, the primary treatment for contracture is removal of the capsule (CAPSULECTOMY) or incisions in the scar tissue capsule (CAPSULOTOMY) and the placement of cortisone around the implant, which inhibits contracture of the new capsule. We do not use cortisone in our initial augmentations as is done by some, both because it is not necessary in the vast majority of patients, but also because cortisone has its own side effects that can cause other problems.
Other examples of complications, which Dr. Smith commonly treats, include malposition of the implant,due to the inadequate release of muscle attachments; asymmetry; migration of the implants below the crease; severe scarring; and gel leakage.
Dr. Curran Smith has had extensive experience correcting complications of breast augmentations, including those of numerous women who have had gel implants put in many years ago.