Millions of women in the United States have had breast augmentation, and the majority are satisfied with the look and feel of their implant result. Still, some women considering breast enhancement still worry about the risk of excessive internal scarring or “capsular contracture,” which is one of the more common risks associated with breast augmentation.
I’d like to explain what causes capsular contracture and provide some helpful tips on how you can minimize your risk of scarring while enjoying breasts that are comfortable as well as beautiful.
How Capsular Contracture Works
Minimal, grade-1 scarring around the implant is a natural part of any breast enhancement surgery on Long Island. However, severe “capsular contracture” (grades 3 and 4) occurs when that normally thin, softer scar layer thickens and hardens, uncomfortably and sometimes visibly constricting the implant.
Steps You Can Take
Severe capsular contracture is relatively rare, but a few simple precautionary measures and recovery techniques can help you minimize your risks while maximizing the quality of your outcome.
- Choose a reliable surgeon who demonstrates exceptional care for safety and health standards. Cut-rate breast enhancement surgeons on Long Island often lack proper certification and training, and may not have reliable staff. Any bacterial contamination of the implant will result in both inflammation and scarring of the implant pocket.
- Follow directions precisely. Your surgeon’s postsurgical care directives will help you prevent the infections that may significantly increase your chances of experiencing capsular contracture.
- Stop smoking. Smoking hampers the systems that nourish and renew tissues, so smokers usually experience unnecessarily thick, tough scars in any surgery. Do not smoke within at least 4 weeks before and after your procedure.
- Eat healthy and keep moving. Good blood pressure depends largely on a healthy lifestyle, and it can help prevent hematoma, which is associated with capsular contracture.
- At the same time, do not push yourself too hard. Strenuous physical activities after your surgery cause tissue stress that can increase your chance of experiencing seroma, a collection of fluid that has been linked to scarring.
- Use a mirror to monitor incision sites. Incision-site necrosis is uncommon, but you need to check your breasts frequently to make sure they are healing well. Necrosis causes a host of other problems that damage tissues and can worsen scarring.
- Find out if submuscular placement is appropriate for your body type. Statistically, breast implants placed below the muscle have less capsular contracture.
- Ask your doctor about breast massage. Some studies suggest that gentle massage after your surgery may help prevent the most severe forms of capsular contracture.
- Maintain good oral health habits. Dental work can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, which may also slightly increase your risk of infection.
- Wear compression and support garments, but only if your surgeon assigns them. For certain body types it is very important that implants and breasts remain in a stable position so that tissues can heal.
Medical conditions like cancer and autoimmune disorders, and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can lower your body’s defenses. These factors increase your chance of both infection and scarring, so if they apply to you, take extra care to follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter.
Pleasing, natural results should be the goal for you and your Long Island breast enhancement surgeon, so be sure to ask your surgeon for other recommendations to help minimize your risks so you can enjoy your new look for years to come.