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Capsulotomy

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Updated March 09, 2009

Definition:

a procedure in which part of the "capsule" of scar tissue surrounding a breast implant is removed or the tissue altered or released in some way. The procedure is performed as a way of attempting to fix the most common complication of breast augmentation surgery -- capsular contracture.

There are two types of capsulotomy:

open capsulotomy:

The scar tissue (capsule) is surgically released and/or partially removed through an incision within the breast area. Closed capsulotomy is sometimes confused with capsulectomy, another procedure which is designed to improve capsular contracture.

closed capsulotomy:

Vigorous compression is applied from the outside of the breast (no incisions are made) in an attempt to break up the scar tissue and release the contracture of the capsule. This is not recommended by most doctors and is strongly advised against by manufacturers of breast implants, as there is a risk of implant rupture. In fact, use of this practice voids the warranty on most breast implants.

Pronunciation: KAPP-soo-LOTT-uh-mee

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