A capsule of the breast is a scar formation around your breast implant. The capsule forms around the breast implant which is a scar that creates this thin membrane which can thicken terribly around the breast implant. The body forms a sort of capsule or membrane around any foreign body. It will create this capsule around a pacemaker or around a brain shunt around any foreign body this placed into the body or under the skin. This is a normal reaction. This is your body trying to push the foreign device out of your body. This scar or the capsule forms around the implant and tries to thicken and within this scar, there are involuntary microscopic elements of smooth muscle that slowly contract and try to push the implant out of your body. The capsule is thin and soft and does not push the implant out of your body and it is very rare that the body is able to push the implant out of your body however at times if the body does form a thicker and thicker capsule and begins to contract around the implant and thicken around the implant creating a very hard painful breast. Sometimes this capsular contracture can thicken to the degree that it ruptures the implant and requires the implant to be exchanged and this scar the capsule to be surgically removed. This immediately softens the breast.
The surgery to remove the capsule is called a capsulectomy. This is a simple operation. This is one of the few operations Dr. Jacobsen performs were patients have a less pain after surgery immediately than they had prior to surgery as usually the capsular contractures are quite profound and can cause a considerable amount of pain particularly with movement or twisting of the chest or elevating the arms.
Capsulectomy is a very simple procedure and gives patient’s a great deal of relief and softens the breast and makes the breast look much better.
Capsulectomy surgery however has complications which generally include bruising and bleeding. This is to be controlled postoperatively with very compressive brassiere wear to avoid postoperative bleeding and minimization of your activity for the first 2 or 3 days.