When you undergo breast reconstruction using an implant, your body forms a capsule that surrounds the implant. If the capsule contains muscle it can contract (called capsular contracture) causing the implant to rupture or deform your breast shape.
Should capsular contracture occur, a capsulectomy must be done to remove this casing and restore the breast to a more natural shape.
The texture and thickness of the capsule is different with every patient.
What happens during a capsulectomy?
A capsulectomy is usually performed under general anaesthetic and takes about 1.5 to 3 hours to complete. The location of your incision (cut) will depend on your own situation. They will release any scar tissue and remove the capsule and the implant. They will replace the implant with a new one. Your incision(s) will be closed using stitches. A light dressing may be applied.
You may need to stay in hospital overnight.
Going home after capsulectomy
You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home.
Your breasts may feel sore and bruised. Be sure and take any pain relief medication as prescribed. You may need to wear a special bra night and day for about 2 weeks after your procedure. Be sure and keep any dressings clean and dry.
You should avoid any strenuous activities until released to return to normal activities by your surgeon. Be sure and discuss any return to work with your surgeon.
It may take several months for scars to fade.
Most people make a good recovery from capsulectomy. As with any surgical procedure, there could be complications.
General complications may include:
- Reaction to anaesthesia
- Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis – DVT)
Specific complications from capsulectomy may include:
- Loss or reduction of feeling in the nipple
- Inability to breastfeed
- Nerve injury
- Capsular contracture reoccurs
- Uneven breast shape (breast asymmetry)
- Problems with the implants
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