Many patients are rightly concerned about scar tissue or contractures after undergoing breast implant surgery.

In my opinion, capsular contractures are due to two main culprits- extra bleeding and bacterial colonization.

Blood outside the vascular system is an irritant to tissues, and a little excess bleeding in your pocket may increase your chance of a contracture. You can decrease your chances of excess bleeding by being very careful about what medications and foods you eat for 10 days before surgery, and not doing anything strenuous for several weeks after surgery.

Notice I use the term “colonization” not “infection” when speaking of bacteria in the pocket. An outright implant infection can certainly greatly increase your chance of a capsular contracture, not to mention additional surgery to remove your implant and wash out your pocket. A colonization is a few bacteria in your pocket that find and adhere to your breast implant your body’s natural defenses attack and kill the bacteria on their own- you would likely not even know it is going on. But “collateral damage” in the battle to kill the bacteria in the pocket is an increased inflammatory response in the pocket, which can lead to a contracture.

Judicious surgical technique by your surgeon and care by you before and after your procedure can all greatly reduce this risk, but never make it zero. Our contracture rate is well below 5% – believe me we track it. In addition to the above precautions, we ask all of our breast implant patients to take a single dose of antibiotic the morning of having any sort of dental work or teeth cleaning performed. It is our belief that the transient shower of bacteria that can occur in your system after dental work can potentially increase the chance of a contracture even years later.