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Capsular contracture by silicone breast implants: possible causes, biocompatibility, and prophylactic strategies

Authors Steiert A, Boyce M, Sorg H

Received 6 June 2013

Accepted for publication 30 July 2013

Published 2 December 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 211—218

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/MDER.S49522

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3


Andreas E Steiert, Maria Boyce, Heiko Sorg

Department of Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

Abstract: The most common implanted material in the human body consists of silicone. Breast augmentation and breast reconstruction using silicone-based implants are procedures frequently performed by reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons. A main complication of this procedure continues to be the development of capsular contracture (CC), displaying the result of a fibrotic foreign body reaction after the implantation of silicone. For many years, experimental and clinical trials have attempted to analyze the problem of its etiology, treatment, and prophylaxis. Different theories of CC formation are known; however, the reason why different individuals develop CC in days or a month, or only after years, is unknown. Therefore, we hypothesize that CC formation, might primarily be induced by immunological mechanisms along with other reasons. This article attempts to review CC formation, with special attention paid to immunological and inflammatory reasons, as well as actual prophylactic strategies. In this context, the word “biocompatibility” has been frequently used to describe the overall biological innocuousness of silicone in the respective studies, although without clear-cut definitions of this important feature. We have therefore developed a new five-point scale with distinct key points of biocompatibility. Hence, this article might provide the basis for ongoing discussion in this field to reduce single-publication definitions as well as increase the understanding of biocompatibility.

Keywords: biofilm, foreign body reaction, breast augmentation, biocompatibility, fibrosis


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