While a capsule is a vital part of the breast implant process, it can lead to some serious complications, such as capsular contracture, which will ultimately require a surgical intervention. A capsulectomy is designed to alleviate discomfort related to breast implants and improve the patient’s quality of life.

What is a capsulectomy?

Capsular contracture is a condition that sometimes develops after a patient undergoes a breast augmentation with implants. It is essentially the result of scar tissue around the implants hardening and contracting, resulting in both discomfort and a noticeable cosmetic distortion.

When this condition occurs, patients can undergo a capsulectomy in conjunction with a breast implant removal in order to improve their overall well-being and mood. Capsulectomy procedures can also be carried out to address cancer or infections in the area.

What are the different types of capsulectomy procedures?

Total capsulectomy

With this approach, the implant is first taken out of the breast and the capsule material is subsequently removed. This process involves dissecting the superficial pocket surface and then carefully removing the rest of the capsule all the way down to the deeper levels. 

Partial capsulectomy

This approach is by far the least invasive when it comes to extracting the capsule. Only a portion of the capsule is removed from the cavity, leaving the rest to be absorbed by the body. 

En bloc capsulectomy

This method involves removing the entire capsule and the implant simultaneously. While this is a much more involved form of the surgery, it is often the best choice for patients who are struggling with the effects of BIA-ALCL (breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma,). This condition sometimes develops after a breast augmentation and is connected to textured implants.

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What are the benefits?

  • Improves the patient’s mobility and comfort
  • Provides relief from implant-related complications 
  • Removes hardened scar tissue from the area
  • Reduces pain 
  • Enables damaged implants to be replaced 
  • Improves the overall aesthetic of the breasts 
  • Instills patients with peace of mind 
  • Improves one’s overall quality of life

Who is an ideal candidate for the procedure?

Not all patients who suffer from capsular contracture will need to undergo a capsulectomy. That said, patients who do undergo the treatment experience a great amount of relief. Capsular contracture can have various levels of seriousness and cause various amounts of pain for different patients. As such, patients will need to come in for a consultation in order to determine their candidacy. During the private consultation, Dr. Esmailian will carry out a full assessment of the patient’s situation to determine if a capsulectomy is the right treatment for them.

What does the procedure entail?

A capsulectomy procedure is usually carried out under IV sedation so that patients feel totally comfortable and relaxed throughout the duration of the procedure. Patients will not feel any pain and will not have any recollection of the procedure afterward. The whole procedure can last anywhere from two to three hours. 

The first step involves making an incision within the breast along the inframammary fold. This is then followed up with one of the multiple capsulectomy techniques (a partial, total, or en bloc capsulectomy). All of these details will be mapped out in the treatment plan before starting the procedure. 

If desired, Dr. Esmailian will put new implants in place during this part of the procedure. In some cases, he places ADM (acellular dermal matrix,) which is a unique form of mesh that acts like human skin and aids in reducing the risk of future incidences of capsular contracture. 

Dr. Esmailian will then close the incisions and put drains in place in order to ensure proper filtering during the healing process. 

What is the recovery process like?

As with any procedure, the recovery process will look different for each patient. The details of one’s recovery depend largely on the type of capsulectomy technique used and whether new implants are being placed or not. Generally speaking, patients will require approximately 4-6 weeks to fully recover from the procedure. 

In the days following the procedure, it is normal for patients to experience symptoms such as swelling, bruising, and tenderness. Some also experience tingling and temporary numbness, which are also normal. Dr. Esmailian provides all patients with detailed post-procedural guidelines as well as medication to help mitigate any discomfort. It is recommended that patients gently massage their breasts throughout the day to expedite the healing process. Patients should also make sure to sleep on their backs at night and wear sports bras throughout the day.

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Dr. Esmailian
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Why choose Dr. Esmailian?

Double board-certified in the field of cosmetic surgery, Dr. Esmailian proudly provides patients in Southern California with some of the best cosmetic care available today. He is committed to achieving remarkable results, consistently helping patients improve their aesthetics in a totally natural and individualized way. Dr. Esmailian’s capsulectomy procedures are always customized to meet the needs of his patients. He is known for his undying integrity, always putting the needs of his patients before anything else. 

Dr. Esmailian received his Medical Degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and then went on to complete a General Surgery Residency at the highly-revered University of Southern California. From there, he decided to continue honing his skills by attending a Plastic Surgery Residency at the Indiana University Hospital.

Beyond his lengthy educational and training background, he is also an active member of the Orange County Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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