Options for capsular contracture?

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Question from Susan: I had immediate reconstruction done using the muscle in my back and an implant. I now have capsular contracture, and I wanted to know what I can do about this. This is the second time having a new implant inserted.
Answers - Carolyn Chang There are several reasons why someone gets capsular contracture. There can be a low grade infection in the capsule. There can be fluid or blood in the area around the implant which will stimulate the tight scar tissue formation. And finally, there's also bad luck. There are a few people where capsular contracture occurs no matter what one does. Some of the best results that we get combating capsular contracture are to use smooth round saline implants, which are slippery on the surface. Therefore, we can really massage that implant and move it around in the pocket, as opposed to a textured implant which tends to stay in place. Also, if an implant exchange surgery is done where the scar tissue is removed, you need to be sure the pocket is fully cleaned and adequately drained so there is no infection.

Finally, speak to your plastic surgeon about why he/she thinks this is recurring. There's also a medicine that is sometimes used to combat capsular contracture: Pavabid. This is a smooth muscle relaxant, but should only be dispensed by a qualified surgeon.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Reconstruction and Safe, Sexy Cosmetics featured Carolyn C. Chang, M.D., Anna-Dee Rinehart, S.C.S., and moderator Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. answering your questions about reconstructive surgery and safe, sexy cosmetics.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2005.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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