Capsular Contracture and Implant Surgery – Reducing the Risks

capsular contracture is a risk of surgery

Breast Implant Surgery remains one of the most popular cosmetic & plastic procedures today.

Whilst Breast Augmentation Surgery using implants is considered to be a relatively safe procedure, all surgical procedures carry risks. One of the risks of using implants for Breast Enlargement (augmentation) is the risk of experiencing a ‘capsular contracture’ complication.

In this blog article, we discuss recent research and the ways our Surgeons can help minimise your risks of capsular contracture during your Breast Enlargement Surgery.

Reducing Your Risk of Capsular Contracture

A possible complication of Breast Implant Surgery

Careful surgery techniques and surgeon experience can reduce your risk of Capsular Contracture, a potential complication of breast implant surgery thought to be related to contamination.

Capsular Contracture is the hardening of tissue (or fibrosis) around a breast implant or growth of hard scar tissue inside the breast ‘pocket’. Rectification usually requires a capsulectomy – removal of the hard scar tissue and removal/replacement of your implants.

The good news is that your chance of this unsightly and painful complication can be avoided by using a series of careful surgical techniques to reduce the risk of contamination.


breast enlargement breast implants, minimising capsular contracture risks

New Research on the causes of Capsular Contracture

Recent research by Deva, Adams and Vickery on the Role of bacterial biofilms in Device Associated Infection in the PRS Journal suggests that bacterial infection from biofilm is the leading cause of Capsular Contracture.  A significant biofilm infection can induce an inflammatory response in the breast tissue, triggering fibrosis and ultimately leading to failure of the breast implant.

New evidence shows that bacteria within a biofilm are less susceptible to control with antibiotics, host defences and antiseptics. Once biofilm has led to the failure of the implant, treatment is problematic and Revision surgery is usually required with less than optimum results.

“Breast implants are unique in that they are placed into a potentially contaminated pocket, with high levels of bacteria present in breast ducts and tissue. Furthermore, the effects of subclinical infection are visibly and palpably evident as compared with other prostheses”

One of the key differences between quality plastic surgery and cheaper inferior alternatives is the ability to effectively use surgical techniques that minimise contamination.

Our experienced plastic surgeons follow Deva et al’s recommended strategies to minimise the risk of implant contamination which is supported by clinical and laboratory research.

15 Ways Our Experienced Surgeons reduce your risk of Capsular Contracture Complicationsprocedure-plastic-cosmetic-surgery

  • We routinely use Nipple Shields to prevent spillage of bacteria into the pocket
  • We typically use the Kellar Funnel as an introduction sleeve (or a barrier technique) to avoid the implant touching your skin during insertion
  • We routinely avoid using Drainage Tubes which can be a potential site of entry for bacteria – this is the advanced ‘NO Drains Technique’ preferred by experienced breast surgeons
  • We minimise repositioning and replacement of the implant
    • The experience of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons improves the efficiency of the implanting process
    • Minimises the potential for implant damage or rupturing during insertion
  • We use a layered close surgical technique to seal the incision and prevent the wound from opening up while healing
  • We routinely irrigate your breast Pocket with betadine or triple antibiotic
  • We avoid incisions around the nipple (Peri Areolar) and typically make incisions under the breast
  • We perform careful dissection to minimise devascularisation, trauma and damage to your breast tissue
    • Our surgical expertise minimises damage to the newly created breast pocket
    • This reduces bleeding and can help speed up your recovery
  • We perform careful Hemostasis (the first stage of blood clotting)
  • We avoid dissection into the breast parenchyma
    • The use of a dual plane, subfascial pocket has anatomical advantages as well
  • We use Intravenous Antibiotic Prophylaxis at time of Anaesthetic induction
  • We use new instruments and drapes to avoid infection
  • We even change surgical gloves prior to handling the implant
  • We minimise the time of implant opening to deployment
    • Implant packages are typically opened and are inserted without delay
  • We use antibiotic prophylaxis to cover subsequent procedures that breach the skin

The key to reducing potential complications from Breast Implant Surgery is:

  •  highly-experienced Surgeons using quality surgical techniques, and
  • taking all precautions to reduce your risks of infection or cross-contamination, and
  • following your Surgeons instructions for post-operative care and healing time

“The best time to get surgery right is the first time.” – Dr Craig Rubinstein


Always choose an experienced Plastic Surgeon.

Read more on the differences between types of Surgeons, the value of getting an opinion by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon or Revisional Surgery Specialist, and the pricing differences between types of surgeries – including the dangers of ‘discount medical tourism’ procedures.

Please send a confidential enquiry form if you’d like more information OR to schedule a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeons and Specialist Plastic Surgeons on our team including Dr Craig Rubinstein,  Dr Rebecca Wyten, Dr Geoff Barnett and Our Team of Surgeons.

Want to learn more about different surgeries offered by our Team of Plastic Surgeons? Browse our website, visit our FAQs page, look at our photo galleries or call us on(03) 8849 1444 to book your consultation today!

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Last updated: 09/04/2021
Author profile image
Dr Geoff Barnett MBBS FRACS(Plas)
Dr Geoffrey Barnett, FRACS (Plas) is a Melbourne based Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has over 35 years of expertise in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Body Contouring Surgery after Bariatric Surgery. Qualifications and Memberships: Specialist Plastic Surgeon (FRACS) Member - Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [FRACS (Plast). The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the only professional body recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) to train Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand. Author BIO page: