Preventing Capsular Contracture
Can capsular contracture be prevented?
In a word? No. There is no way to guarantee that you will never get capsular contracture. However, there are things that you can do to reduce your risks.
- Choose the partial or complete submuscular
placement instead of over the muscle
placement. Breast implants placed on top
of the muscle have been proven to have a
higher incidence of capsular contracture.
Implants placed over the muscle come into
contact with the breast ducts, which are known
to harbor bacteria.
- Textured breast implants were invented in
hopes of preventing, or at the very least,
reducing the incidence of capsular
contracture. However, there have been
several studies that have shown that when
textured breast implants are placed under the
muscle, there is really no difference in
contracture rates between smooth and textured
implants. Textured implants do seem to
have a slightly lower risk of contracture than
smooth implants when placed above the muscle.
- Silicone gel breast implants, especially
those with a smooth shell, seem to have a
higher rate of capsular contracture than
saline breast implants.
- Post-operative massaging of the implant.
Some surgeons recommend massaging to their
patients, who usually have smooth implants.
The vast majority of surgeons do not recommend
massaging textured implants, as the implant is
supposed to adhere to your own tissues, and
massaging can interfere with that process.
Massaging is thought to help keep the pocket open. There are no studies that prove or disprove that massaging helps to prevent capsular contracture, but many surgeon's don't see the harm in allowing their patients to do it. If this something you'd like to do, you should discuss it with your surgeon.
- Taking oral vitamin E daily. Vitamin
E is said to soften collagen fibers.
Collagen fibers make up the capsule.
There are no studies that prove that Vitamin E
can prevent capsular contracture, nor are
there studies that prove or disprove that it
lessens the effects of capsular contracture.
It is important to remember that Vitamin E
thins the blood and that it should not be
taken prior to surgery without your surgeon's
approval. The same advice applies to the
early post-op period. Talk with your
surgeon prior to taking vitamin E or any other
supplement or medication that thins the blood.
- Compression bras and exercises. Some
women wear compression bras or sports bras
that "flatten" their implants, which helps
keep is thought by some to help keep the
pocket open. Others do compression
exercises such as laying flat on the floor on
their tummies, which has the effect of mashing
the implant. Again, this is something
you will need to discuss with your surgeon.
There are many surgeons that are quite
particular about the types of bras their
patients were post-operatively.
Additionally, compression exercises, which can
include various types of massage, should be
discussed with your surgeon before you begin
Surgeons generally know what does and does not work for their patients, so it is imperative that you stay on the same page with your surgeon. What works for one person may not work for another person. Everyone is different. Every surgery is different. Always get your surgeon's approval before doing anything that has not been recommended to you by your surgeon.