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As a protection mechanism, a capsule made of fibrous tissue will naturally form around any foreign objects introduced into the body. The capsule that forms around breast implants functions as a snug container for the devices, keeping them in place. However, some women experience complications such as capsular contracture after their breast augmentation, which require a surgical intervention. A capsulectomy in Beverly Hills helps patients to alleviate discomfort and restore quality of life.

What is a capsulectomy?

Capsular contracture is a complication that can occur after breast augmentation with implants. It occurs when the scar tissue around the implants hardens and contracts, causing both discomfort and cosmetic distortion. In this case, a capsulectomy can be performed in tandem with breast implant removal to restore well-being and overall health. Capsulectomies can also be performed when cancer or infection occurs.

Dr. Cohen examining patient's chest.

What are the different types of capsulectomies?

Total capsulectomy

With this option, the capsule material is removed separately after the implant has been taken out. The doctor will first dissect the superficial pocket surface, then carefully extract the rest of the capsule down to its deepest level.

Partial capsulectomy

This method is the least invasive approach to removing the capsule. Only a portion of the capsule is excised, leaving the remaining sections to be resorbed with the passage of time.

En bloc capsulectomy

With this approach, the entire capsule is removed at the same time as the implant. While this type of surgery is more complex and demanding, it is often the recommended choice for women who are dealing with the effects of BIA-ALCL (breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma,) a complication that occasionally occurs after breast augmentation and has been connected to textured implants.

What are the benefits?

  • Improves comfort and ease
  • Provides relief from implant complications
  • Excises painful, hardened scar tissue
  • Allows for replacement of damaged or compromised implants
  • Corrects the aesthetic appearance of the breasts
  • Restores peace of mind
  • Enhances overall quality of life

Am I a candidate?

Not every patient with capsular contracture will require a capsulectomy, but for those who do, the procedure can bring a great deal of relief. Capsular contracture is categorized into four levels on a scale called the Baker Grade. The higher the grade, the more painful and distorted the implants are, and thus the more likely the client is to benefit from a capsulectomy. During your private consultation, Dr. Cohen will conduct a detailed evaluation of your symptoms and determine whether a capsulectomy is right for your needs.

Beautiful petite woman in chair next to window.

What can I expect from the procedure?

Surgery is typically performed under IV sedation so that you are completely comfortable and at ease during the procedure. You will not feel any pain or remember anything. The process takes about 2-3 hours.

As a first step, the doctor will create an incision within the breast along the inframammary fold. He will then pursue a partial, total, or en bloc capsulectomy, according to your customized treatment plan. If required, Dr. Cohen can place new implants at this point. He may also place ADM (acellular dermal matrix,) which is a unique type of mesh that mimics human skin and helps reduce the risk of capsular contracture in the future. 

The incisions are then closed, and drains are placed as needed.

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What can I expect after the surgery?

Recovery will be different for each person, depending on the type of capsulectomy undergone and on whether new implants are placed or not. In general, you will need around 4-6 weeks for a full recuperation.

Swelling, bruising, and tenderness, along with tingling and temporary numbness, are all normal side effects. You’ll receive the appropriate pain medications from Dr. Cohen, along with a personalized aftercare plan. Gentle breast massage is recommended to help accelerate your healing. In order to optimize wound healing, you should sleep on your back at night and wear a support bra, as indicated by Dr. Cohen.

Why choose Dr. Cohen?

Dr. Cohen attended Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, earning top honors in surgery and publishing numerous research papers in prestigious outlets, such as the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He then honed his skills in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the elite Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. Cohen was later selected to complete a highly-coveted aesthetic and laser surgery fellowship with internationally acclaimed Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. W. Grant Stevens. In addition, Dr. Cohen has won numerous “Top Doc” awards from Phoenix magazine and Castle Connolly.