New Treatment for Capsular Contracture
For years, the benefits of fish oils, specifically, omega-3 fatty acids, have been touted to include a reduction of risk factors in heart disease, to fight anxiety and depression, and to reduce inflammation among others. Did you know that a group of researchers in Italy have recently suggested that omega 3 fatty acids may also reduce the risk of capsular contracture?
In a recent study published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a group of researchers tested the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on the formation of capsules around silicone gel implants. What they found, offers hope for the treatment of capsular contracture.
Capsular contracture involves the formation of scar tissue around breast implants. The scar tissue acts to protect the implant from its surroundings. This tissue consists of multiple components, which can thicken and even “squeeze” the implant over time, causing hardening and /or displacement of the implant. The risk of this “capsular contracture” occurring is reported at 5-20% of implants. The best treatment that we have to date is to surgically remove the scar tissue or capsule and to position the implant in a new pocket when possible. Unfortunately, time and studies have told us that once you have a capsular contracture that you are more likely to redevelop that capsule, even with treatment.
So, what are your options? Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. Excessive inflammation is thought to be present in capsular contracture. This study showed that when the treatment group received omega-3 oil daily, that the capsule that formed around the implant was thinner and more transparent than the capsule that formed in the group that received the placebo (in this case water). Up until now, our only non-surgical treatment involved the use of Montelukast, an asthma medication that was inconsistent in offering relief. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements offer a simple and promising method of preventing or reducing capsular contracture after silicone breast implant surgery.
The take away is that more research is needed. But, if you like fatty fish such as salmon, and you have breast implants, there may be an additional benefit to enjoying what you already love.
If you have breast implants, and you are concerned about capsular contracture or other implant-related problems, you may want to reach out to Dr. Friedlander at (973) 524-7124 to schedule your confidential consultation.