Breast Capsulotomy / Capsulectomy

A breast capsule is an issue for people who have breast implants. The body naturally develops a lining to wall off foreign objects such as an implant. The lining is essentially scar tissue which is referred to as a capsule. Capsules can also occur around joint replacements e.g. a hip replacement.
Around 1 in 25 people with breast implants will develop capsules thicker than normal. Capsules tighten around the implant which constrict it, which can cause firmness of an implant, tenderness within the breast and in severe cases it can change the shape of the breasts.
A breast capsulectomy is a procedure where the capsules are removed. During a consultation you will be advised on the most appropriate course of action, specifically to your situation. Polyurethane coated breast implants have a very low risk of capsular contraction.
During surgery, the surgeon should re-use your old scar to avoid any fresh scarring. If the capsule is released it is referred to as a capsulotomy, but if it is removed it is called a capsulectomy. A new breast implant will usually replace the old one and the procedure takes approximately 3 hours to complete. You will be under general anaesthetic so an overnight hospital stay.
You will be fit enough to return to work after around two weeks, although this is dependant on your job, as strenuous activity should be avoided for a month to six weeks.