Baker Grade IV Capsular Contracture Is Correlated with an Increased Amount of Silicone Material: An Intrapatient Study

Erik de Bakker, Liron Zada, Robert W Schmidt, Ludo van Haasterecht, A Dick Vethaak, Freek Ariese, Henry B P M Dijkman, Peter Bult, Susan Gibbs, Frank B Niessen

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Background: Breast implant surgery is one of the most frequently performed procedures by plastic surgeons worldwide. However, the relationship between silicone leakage and the most common complication, capsular contracture, is far from understood. This study aimed to compare Baker grade I with Baker grade IV capsules regarding their silicone content in an intradonor setting, using two previously validated imaging techniques. Methods: Twenty-two donor-matched capsules from 11 patients experiencing unilateral complaints were included after bilateral explantation surgery. All capsules were examined using both stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) imaging and staining with modified oil red O (MORO). Evaluation was done visually for qualitative and semiquantitative assessment and automated for quantitative analysis. Results: Using both SRS and MORO techniques, silicone was found in more Baker grade IV capsules (eight of 11 and 11 of 11, respectively) than in Baker grade I capsules (three of 11 and five of 11, respectively). Baker grade IV capsules also showed significantly more silicone content compared with the Baker grade I capsules. This was true for semiquantitative assessment for both SRS and MORO techniques (P = 0.019 and P = 0.006, respectively), whereas quantitative analysis proved to be significant for MORO alone (P = 0.026 versus P = 0.248 for SRS, respectively). Conclusions: In this study, a significant correlation between capsule silicone content and capsular contracture is shown. An extensive and continued foreign body response to silicone particles is likely to be responsible. Considering the widespread use of silicone breast implants, these results affect many women worldwide and warrant a more focused research effort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1200
Number of pages10
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number6
Early online date7 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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