Capsular Contracture Rates Following Breast Reconstruction

Oct 12, 2011 by

Unfortunately capsular contracture occurs following breast reconstruction surgery. The reports submitted to the USA FDA by the makers of the NATRELLE® breast implants and the MENTOR® MEMORYGEL® implants detail that capsular contracture is significant following breast reconstruction with implants. The capsular contracture rates from their studies:

  • The NATRELLE® breast implant study of 98 patients following primary breast reconstruction surgery followed the patients for 7-years showed a capsular contracture rate following breast reconstruction of 17.1%
  • The MENTOR® MEMORYGEL® implant study that has been published followed 251 patients for 3 years following primary breast reconstruction surgery and found a capsular contracture rate of 8.3%

The above figures are for capsular contracture rate following primary reconstruction. I also found this data regarding the complications following Revision-Reconstruction (the revision surgery following the primary reconstruction):

  • The NATRELLE® breast implant study- revision-reconstruction: 15 patients, study timeframe of 7 years, capsular contracture rate of 6.7%
  • The MENTOR® MEMORYGEL® breast implant study- revision-reconstruction: 59 patients, study timeframe of 3 years, capsular contracture rate of 16.3%

The data is not good- capsular contracture is significant. This is very sad news- a woman is seeking a solution for breast reconstruction and ends up with complications and additional surgery.

The data is very confusing due to the different time frames for the studies-NATRELLE® has a higher rate following primary breast reconstruction surgery, but the NATRELLE® study is for 7-years while the MENTOR® MEMORYGEL®  is for 3-years. MENTOR® MEMORYGEL® has a capsular contracture rate affecting 8.3% of women following primary breast reconstruction after 3-years- will that rate increase to match the NATRELLE® figures?

Of course the even worse news if complications following a breast revision reconstruction surgery. A woman has now undergone the trauma of the reconstruction and the primary reconstruction surgery; now she has the breast augmentation revision-reconstruction procedure and yet another complication- capsular contracture- occurs. And again, the numbers are confusing….and even more so as the NATRELLE® numbers are for 7-year follow up but are lower (6.7%) than the MENTOR® MEMORYGEL® study numbers (16.3%) where the study was only 3 years.

A woman that has undergone a breast reconstruction deserves a solution, not an implant that leads to more surgery. Investigate Polyurethane Foam Covered Silicone Gel  breast implants if you are having a breast reconstruction surgery that involves a mammary implant. Polyurethane Foam Implants have a lower rate of capsular contracture.

Hopefully all women undergoing breast reconstruction find a solution, not additional problems. Please find a great doctor, use the best implant surface type for your long term safety.

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