Relationship of incision choice to capsular contracture

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2008 Mar;32(2):303-6. doi: 10.1007/s00266-007-9061-2.


Background: Capsular contracture can be an ongoing problem in breast augmentation even with good surgical technique. In the author's practice, a higher incidence of capsular contracture was observed with the use of a periareolar incision than with an inframammary incision.

Methods: A review of breast augmentations performed from November 2004 through June 2006 was conducted. This analysis included the incision used, the procedure performed, and the development of capsular contracture.

Results: The incidence of contracture was 0.59% in the inframammary group and 9.5% in the periareolar group. This increase in capsular contracture with a periareolar incision was statistically significant. Capsular contracture occurring with augmentation performed at the time of a periareolar mastopexy was 8%, which was statistically significant compared with the inframammary group. The difference in contracture rates between a periareolar incision alone and a periareolar mastopexy was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Breast augmentation through a periareolar incision has a higher incidence of capsular contracture than observed with an inframammary incision. This most likely occurs due to an increase in contamination of the breast pocket with intraductal material colonized by bacteria. The periareolar incision is, and will remain, a standard of care. Therefore, this information can help clinicians make a more informed decision regarding incision placement for breast augmentation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Breast Implantation / methods*
  • Breast Implantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Calcinosis / epidemiology*
  • Cicatrix
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wound Infection / epidemiology