Case 96: To see how well our results last, see these photos of our patient 8 years after rhinoplasty and facial fat transfer! Her rhinoplasty involved softening her look and removing the convexity on the bridge that made her tip look downturned. Fat transfer under the eyes has stood the test of time and really helped to reduce her under eye hollows to noticeably brighten her appearance.
The cause of capsular contracture is unknown, but the common incidence factors include bacterial contamination, device-shell rupture, filler leakage, and hematoma. The surgical implantation procedures that have reduced the incidence of capsular contracture include submuscular emplacement, the use of breast implants with a textured surface (polyurethane-coated); limited pre-operative handling of the implants, limited contact with the chest skin of the implant pocket before the emplacement of the breast implant, and irrigation of the recipient site with triple-antibiotic solutions.
The plastic surgical emplacement of breast implant devices, either for breast reconstruction or for aesthetic purpose, presents the same health risks common to surgery, such as adverse reaction to anesthesia, hematoma (post-operative bleeding), late hematoma (post-operative bleeding after 6 months or more), seroma (fluid accumulation), incision-site breakdown (wound infection). Complications specific to breast augmentation include breast pain, altered sensation, impeded breast-feeding function, visible wrinkling, asymmetry, thinning of the breast tissue, and symmastia, the “bread loafing” of the bust that interrupts the natural plane between the breasts. Specific treatments for the complications of indwelling breast implants—capsular contracture and capsular rupture—are periodic MRI monitoring and physical examinations. Furthermore, complications and re-operations related to the implantation surgery, and to tissue expanders (implant place-holders during surgery) can cause unfavorable scarring in approximately 6–7 per cent of the patients.  Statistically, 20 per cent of women who underwent cosmetic implantation, and 50 per cent of women who underwent breast reconstruction implantation, required their explantation at the 10-year mark.
2009 European Union International Committee for Quality Assurance, Medical Technologies & Devices in Plastic Surgery panel (IQUAM) The consensus statement of the Transatlantic Innovations conference (April 2009) indicated that additional medical studies demonstrated no association between silicone gel-filled breast implants and carcinoma, or any metabolic, immune, or allergic disorder.
Fat transfer breast augmentation has a few important limitations. First, fat transfer is typically limited to approximately one cup size increase in breast size. Second, the transferred fat may be absorbed again by the body. Third, it is more expensive because of the extra time involved in harvesting and processing donor fat as well as possible need for a special vacuum bra device. This option is best reserved for women who desire a modest increase in size without using an implant.
Manufacturer’s warranty programs can mitigate some of the costs of treating complications. But, the warranty payment is only available if a rupture is detected. Some surgeons fail to inform their patients of the need for periodic MRIs, or downplay the FDA recommendation in order to make a sale. “Many women don’t know about the maintenance costs and potential expenses of silicone gel implants,” reports Dr. Ellen Mahony, board-certified plastic surgeon in Westport, CT. “Because rupture with a silicone gel implant is ‘silent,’ it can go undetected for an extended period, often not becoming obvious until the process of capsular contraction has begun.” Capsular contraction leads to a more complex surgery. That means added surgical costs which your warranty may not cover.