In capsular contraction, this protective layer abnormally hardens, causing the breast implant to deform or compress. As a result, the breast itself tightens and rises higher on the chest. This can be followed with hardness and pain in the breast. In most cases, this can be alleviated by applying external pressure. This is done by your cosmetic surgeon at the La Fontaine clinic with or without sedation. They will correct the problem, making your breast feel soft again. In very rare cases, the surgeon may need to open the incision to achieve the same result. Today’s safe and technological-improved breast implants have reduced the incidence of capsular contraction to less than 5%.
There are several criteria needed to properly diagnose capsular contraction, which are determined by the Baker Classification for capsular contraction.
- Grade I- The breast appears normal, having desired size, shape and softness
- Grade II- The breast becomes slightly firmer
- Grade III- The breast becomes hard and appears abnormal
- Grade IV- The breast is hard, painful and looks abnormal
For the first while, avoid spending too much time examining your breasts. Devote this time to mental and physical relaxation for your state of mind. A positive attitude plays an important role in your overall results.
After the surgery you will be taught how to properly massage your new breasts to prevent improper positioning of the implants and help keep them soft. Special instructions will be given to those who undergo breast lifts with their breast augmentation.
Massaging is usually done regularly for the first 3 months after your breast augmentation procedure is completed. The massaging then continues less frequently for up to a year after the procedure. There are several massaging techniques that you will be taught to help keep your breast implants in the correct placement. There are upward and downward massages. Upward massages push the implant upward to help the implant capsule to stretch. Downward massages are usually more beneficial for sup-muscular implants because these implants sit higher on the chest. Downward massages help the implant to settle downward. Further, massaging your breast implants toward each other helps to better outline cleavage.
You might find that a breast on either side may take longer to settle than the other, which is normal.
In the case of capsular contraction, you will be given special instructions by your doctor or a nurse on what massage techniques to use to heal and prevent a repeat of this complication.
Wearing the right bra after having a breast augmentation is very important. Your bra can significantly affect the appearance of your new breasts and even contribute to complications. It is best that you avoid wearing an underwire bra for at least the first 2 months after surgery. The underwire can irritate or cut into the incision under the breast fold. As well, the breast implants need time to settle into their shape and an underwire or push up bra can interfere with this process.
You will most likely need to buy new bras after undergoing breast augmentation. You want to make sure that your new bras fit correctly in order to support your new breasts and avoid drooping or bottoming out.
The following criteria provide a guide on how a proper bra should fit:
- Bra straps should sit comfortably along shoulders without falling off or digging into skin. Adjust straps to a comfortable fit and for adequate support.
- The centre panel of the bra should sit comfortably on the area between your breasts. If the panel does not rest on your skin, this could mean that the bra size is too small.
- The band of the bra at the back should be parallel to or slightly lower than the front. If the band rides up or causes rolls in your backs, the bra could be too small.
- Cups should fit comfortably against your breasts. Spaces between cups and breasts indicate that the bra is too big
In rare cases, there can be complications that can occur after any surgery such as infection and bleeding.
Antibiotics can be used before and after surgery to prevent infections. If an infection arises in another part of your body it is crucial that it be treated immediately so that it does not spread to the vulnerable section of your breast augmentation. If an infection does occur in the breasts, the implant must be removed and a replacement implant can be inserted after 9 months of the infection being treated.
In very rare cases, breast implants can rupture or deflate due to tearing of the shell by capsular contraction or physical trauma. If a rupture or tear does occur, the actions for treatment depend on the type of implant. Silicone implants will not leak into the body nor does the body absorb it. However, surrounding tissue around the ruptured implant will thicken which can deform the shape of the breast or make it hard.
Saline implants will leak if ruptured. Fortunately, the saline solution is not dangerous to the body. In this case, the implant will deflate and the appearance of the breast will change.
Once tests are done to check if the implant is intact or not, the implant will need to be removed and replaced. Usually this process is simple and precautions taken when the original implant was inserted will need to be adhered to again.
Other potential but extremely rare problems that may occur after breast augmentation surgery include:
- Rash on or around breasts
- Hypertrophic scarring, which is a deep, red scarring that occurs after surgery
- Inflammation of blood vessels under the breasts
- Fluid build-up around the implant which causes swelling and pain
- Separation of the edges of the wound, causing opening of the incision as oppose to healing
- Changes in nipple sensitivity
All breast implants will have some degree of wrinkling. Folds on the shell of the implant occur because the implants are soft. Usually this wrinkling is felt when certain movements are made, such as leaning forward. However, it may become a problem if the wrinkles become visible. Saline implants are more likely to wrinkle than silicone ones.
There are several signs to be aware of and monitor to ensure the success and proper healing of your breast augmentation:
- You will experience some pain and discomfort in and around your breasts
- You may see bruising around your breast area
- Your breasts may swell
- You may experience slight bleeding near the incision
- You may feel nauseous or have constipation due to use of pain killers
Certain signs may indicate the need for emergency. In the case of the following, contact La Fontaine Source De Jeunesse Cosmetic Surgery Centre immediately:
- If you experience unbearable headaches
- If you are experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath
- If your wounds are bleeding excessively and do not show signs of stopping
- If your breasts appear abnormally swollen
If we are closed during the time that you call, go to your nearest hospital to be examined right away.
Though pain levels are largely based on a person’s pain tolerance, different procedures will result in experiencing slightly more pain than other procedures. For example, sub muscular, or under the chest muscle procedures usually are a bit more uncomfortable than sub-glandular procedures. Nevertheless, most patients who have undergone breast augmentation are able to resume to their normal activities a day or two after the procedure.
To avoid causing any complications or unnecessary pain, it is important to adhere to a few guidelines after having your breast augmentation surgery. These are:
- Refrain from wearing an underwire bra for up to 6 months after surgery. After this time, avoid wearing underwired bras for long periods of time.
- Sleep on your back only. Sleeping on your stomach or sides could alter the results of the augmentation or open wounds.
- Refrain from engaging in robust physical activity that would cause your breasts to bounce up and down. This may alter the placement of your implants or re-open the incision area.
- Avoid pulling your skin near the armpit and breast area in an attempt to look at your scars. This can open or tear your wounds.
- Avoid lifting your arms too high, as this will cause the skin around your breasts and underarm to stretch.
- Do not allow your wounds to get wet for the first week after surgery. It is best that you shower, as oppose to taking tub baths, to avoid soaking your wounds.
- Do not remove your bandage until instructed to do so. You need to provide your wounds with sufficient time to heal.
- Upon your follow-up visit, your surgeon will tell you when you may return to normal activities.
If you require more information, please call La Fontaine Medical Group to arrange a private consultation at no charge.
There is hardly any other procedure in cosmetic surgery that can surpass the enhanced self-esteem and instant gratification felt by a woman who has undergone breast augmentation from La Fontaine Source De Jeunesse Cosmetic Surgery Centre.