Open capsulectomy is a surgical procedure performed to treat scarring which has occurred around breast implants, or to revise the shape of the pocket where the implant is placed. This involves surgical cutting and removal of scar tissue that has formed around a breast implant and the placement of new silicone gel breast implant(s).
A detailed consultation with your consultant plastic surgeon is essential prior to undergoing any surgical procedure. During the consultation, your surgeon will discuss your area/s of concern, desired improvements, options available (including no treatment at all) and expected outcomes. You will be examined, and measurements taken of your breasts.
Some discussion will follow about implant shapes and possible sizes and the position of the pockets that are to be made for the new implants to sit in behind your existing breast tissue. Individuals with old, damaged, or broken implants (either saline or silicone gel-filled) may consider open capsulectomy surgery and replacement with silicone gel-filled implants as a way to maintain the long-term results from their original surgery, whether for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes.
You may be advised by your surgeon to consider replacing your breast implants with new ones, irrespective of how long you have had them. In some situations, you may be advised to consider breast implants with a textured outer surface or to consider a different type of implant.
Should open capsulectomy with breast implant replacement be agreed upon as the most suitable treatment, the procedure will be carried out by your surgeon in our state-of-the-art operating theatre. The surgical procedure is generally straightforward and takes around three hours to perform.
Depending on the extent of the scarring problem, it may be necessary to place the new implant in a different location to the original, partially underneath the pectoralis muscle on the chest, alternatively in front of the pectoralis muscle if the original placement was behind the muscle, or either completely or partially, known as a “dual plane”.
Incisions for the open capsulectomy procedure may be placed in different locations than those used in the original surgery. Internal stitches are occasionally used to maintain implant position. Once the original implants and scarred skin have been removed and the new implants positioned, skin edges are then closed with dissolvable stitches and very light dressings are applied.
Breast implants have been used for over 40 years to increase the volume and improve the shape of the breasts. In selecting an implant, it is essential to choose a breast implant from a trusted manufacturer with the reassurance of an effective warranty and good long term scientific data on safety and durability.
A wide range of breast implants are available that can be used to reshape the breast; from simply adding subtle volume to adding more significant fullness and volume.
Breast implants come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Usually made from silicone, they can be filled with different firmnesses of gel to form an implant that matches your specific needs.
In selecting a breast implant, your surgeon will carefully assess your breasts, taking note of your chest dimensions and overall build. They will then discuss your desires for the final breast shape and volume.
After thorough consideration, the final breast implant will be selected. It is never wise to exceed the recommended width of an implant, as this may lead to an unusually proportioned breast with a displacement of the nipple from the centre of the breast.
Breast implants are now much more durable and are manufactured to a very high standard. Rigid quality control measures are in place to ensure consistency. Whilst this has made them much safer than in the past, they should not be considered to last a lifetime.
Eventually, replacement implants will also wear out and consequently may require a repeat replacement. It is therefore imperative that you fully understand the long-term implications of having breast implants. During the consultation process with your surgeon, the likelihood of developing problems will be discussed thoroughly.
Open capsulectomy surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic to ensure total comfort for the duration of the procedure.
It is usual to experience some mild discomfort after open capsulectomy surgery, but this will settle as normal healing progresses.
Open capsulectomy is usually performed as a day case under a general anaesthetic or twilight anaesthesia. Our highly experienced medical team will be on hand during your stay to care for your needs.
After surgery, it is normal to be a little tender over the chest area. Normally, you will need a couple of weeks off work and will need to avoid vigorous exercise for around six weeks.
Light exercise may be recommenced immediately. Showering is permitted on the second postoperative day. It is essential to wear a sports bra during the day and at night in the weeks following the surgery. The breast implants can take a few weeks to settle into position and it is quite normal for them to look a little high initially.
The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic to ensure the patient's total comfort for the duration of the procedure
Once the original implants and scarred skin have been removed and the new implants positioned, skin edges are then closed with dissolvable stitches and very light dressings are applied
Following surgery, patient's should expect to see an improved shape and/or position of breast implants. The appearance of old scarring should be reduced
Gentle showering can commence the day after open capsulectomy surgery. Vigorous exercise and activities should be avoided for six weeks
Eventually, breast implants wear out once again and consequently may require replacement. The long term implications of open capsulectomy will be thoroughly discussed at consultation