Capsular Contracture- The Baker Grading System

Aug 24, 2011 by

The capsule formed around a breast implant is not always a bad capsule- a capsule is formed around each implant. The body forms the capsule as a reaction to the implant being placed in the “pocket” the surgeon created.

A healthy capsule will be soft and allow the implant to stay in position (where it was implanted), move with the body and will prevent the implant from moving or rotating. A contracted capsule squeezes the implant, distorting the implant, becoming hard and even causing pain. A capsule can begin as a healthy, soft capsule and contract over time; capsular contracture can happen at any time following a breast implant surgery, but seems to be more common within the first 6-9 months.

The condition of the capsule surrounding the breast implant is graded according to the Baker System. The following is taken from the FDA website with information about breast implants:

Baker Grading Scale

Grade I Breast is normally soft and looks natural
Grade II Breast is a little firm but looks normal
Grade III Breast is firm and looks abnormal
Grade IV Breast is hard, painful, and looks abnormal

There is no test a doctor will give to check which Baker Grade a capsule falls into- it is fairly subjective and determined by the level of firmness and any distortion of the breast implant itself.

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