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Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery-SanFrancisco Bay Area|Marin County

Capsulectomy versus Capsulotomy

December 27th, 2012 Miguel A. Delgado Jr, MD

Before and After Breast Revision Surgery


Any foreign material implanted in the body will develop a tissue capsule around it. This includes breast implants, artificial joints and pacemakers. This is a normal part of the healing process and usually does not cause a problem. For 15% to 20% of women who have breast augmentation, the capsule can thicken which will constrict the implant and make it feel hard requiring breast implant revision.

San Francisco Bay Area women ask what can be done if a capsular contracture should form causing discomfort and distortion of one or both breasts. There are two different techniques used to release the capsule.

The Capsulotomy is the least aggressive procedure. The surgeon makes several incisions usually at the base of the breast capsule. The capsule is not removed, just cut in several places allowing the capsule to expand.

The Capsulectomy is a more involved procedure, where the surgeon removes the entire capsule; the Capsulectomy generally has a higher success rate.

The cause of capsular contracture is still being studied. According to an abstract in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, (published by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons), states: “A growing body of evidence implicates subclinical (biofilm) infection around breast implants as an important cause of capsular contracture”.

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