Scar tissue grows around an implant, forming a capsule.
When an implant is placed in the body – whether in the hip, knee or breast – the organism reacts to this foreign body and creates a protective barrier around it to isolate it. This is called a periprosthetic capsule, and the formation of this capsule is a perfectly normal and natural process.
A capsule is thin, flexible and physiological.
However, the body does not always stop with this protective barrier. Instead of forming a thin, flexible capsule, the body may create a barrier that is firm and several layers thick, sometimes rigid or even very hard and painful. This process is called capsular contracture.
It primarily occurs as an inflammatory reaction, i.e. to something abnormal around the implant, such as a hematoma (bleeding) or infection. Smoking also increases the chances of capsular contracture.
The only way to treat capsular contracture is to remove the implant and the capsule and replace the implant. Although it is impossible to prevent capsular contracture entirely, all possible precautions should be taken (avoid bleeding, infections, stop smoking, etc.).