Capsular Contracture is the Number One Breast Implant Risk. Here’s How Plastic Surgeons Aim to Avoid It and Treat It.
In a display of pure biological brilliance, the human body instinctively weaves a scar-tissue web around objects it doesn’t recognize as its own, like breast implants and other medical devices, in order to wall off intruders and stymie perceived threats. “Typically, that scar tissue stays soft and supple and you never notice it—it’s just a barrier between the body’s tissues and the foreign body,” says Dr. Renee Burke, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Barrington, Illinois. Sometimes though, when these perfectly natural, collagen-rich casings get triggered—usually by bacteria or blood, both inflammatory agents—they “can harden, thicken, calcify, and/or distort the implant inside, which may lead to pain,” explains board-certified New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Melissa Doft. This phenomenon, known as capsular contracture, is considered to be the number one risk of breast implants.