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Woman holding breastsThe development of excess scar tissue, or capsular contracture, occurs in only a small percentage of breast augmentations, yet remains one of the primary reasons that women pursue implant revision surgery. There are two schools of thought on treatment for capsular contracture: full scar tissue removal, or capsule release. Which one is more likely to prevent recurrence?

Understanding Risk Factors

Understanding the risk factors that may lead to the development of capsular contracture in the first place can also offer insight as to the most effective approach toward treatment. Although no one can say for sure that there’s only one cause for CC, the presence of bacteria in the surgical pocket does seem to carry a high correlation. This contamination can come from something as simple as your surgeon handling the implant a bit longer than usual before implantation, and doesn’t necessarily reflect an unclean operating environment.

During implant revision surgery for moderate grades of CC, the scar tissue capsule may simply be cut to allow the existing implants to settle properly again and help patients feel more comfortable. However, this approach doesn’t necessarily remove the bacteria responsible for the initial development of scar tissue growth. More and more, it seems that capsule release only, and without an implant exchange, is linked to higher incidences of CC recurrence than full capsule removal and implant replacement.

Choosing Your Treatment

Even the most skilled breast implant revision surgeon can’t offer a 100 percent guarantee that capsular contracture won’t return. However, choosing a board certified plastic surgeon with plenty of experience in revision surgery does increase the chances that the right technical steps will be taken to limit the chances of a repeat performance.

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