My breast augmentation looked amazing when it was first done, but then they started to get hard and painful and they don't look the same. What's going on?
When a breast implant is placed in the body we form a scar around the implant which holds it in position. However, sometimes that scar gets too thick and squeezes the implant causing firmness, deformity and even pain. This is called capsular contracture. It is unclear why capsular contracture develops in some patients and not others but we do know that if you do develop capsular contracture, that you are more likely to get it again. For these women, they often go through a frustrating cycle of having an implant revision that restores a soft breast and then a year or two later it becomes hard again. Fortunately, there are now new techniques that are breaking the cycle. At Harvard we were commonly using a product called "acellular dermal matrix" or ADM for short to help in reconstructing breasts after breast cancer. What we learned through this experience was that when an ADM was used, the patients were having fewer complications with capsular contracture. We are now bringing this new technique to cosmetic patients. There are many styles of ADM on the market including Alloderm and Belloderma, but the most important component is how they are placed in the breast pocket during surgery. If you or a friend is suffering from capsular contracture, come by our office for a free cosmetic consultation to learn more. You can also follow us on Instagram @hassplasticsurgery where we will be starting a video blog answering some common questions about plastic surgery.