Capsulectomy is a procedure performed on patients with breast implants that have gotten firm with scar tissue to the point that they no longer look good, are uncomfortable, or simply hurt. Capsules form when the normal scar tissue around the implants becomes too aggressive and hard such that the patient sees changes and feels changes in their breast implants. Capsules can occur early on or later in the lifespan of breast implants. Treatments include massage, taking medication, or surgery. Implant exchange is sometimes necessary in addition to performing the excision of the capsular tissue.
Massage for breast implant capsules may not prevent capsulectomy as once the process of hardening starts, it is difficult to stop. Massage can prevent capsules more so than help make them better. It is recommended that massage be performed on breast implants at least once a day to try and keep them soft. However, many patients never massage their implants and they do not have any problems over time. Some who massage diligently still have difficulties.
The medications that are used for capsules may also not help prevent capsulectomy. These medications include singulair and accolate. Both medications are used frequently by plastic surgeons to make the capsules soften. This helps in some cases, but if it does not, then capsulectomy will need to be performed.
Capsulectomy for breast implants is done by opening the breast through the previous incision and removing the scar tissue around the breast implant. This can be done by sharp dissection or by electrocautery. Most patients do see improvement with capsulectomy immediately. Sometimes, however, the capsules can reform and then a more rigorous approach may be needed. For more information about capsulectomy, please call the office of Dr. Jay Calvert at 310-777-8800 or contact us.