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Dr. Mai Brooks Natural Therapies for Breast Implant Capsular Contracture

Posted on 17. Jan, 2014 by in Wellness

Capsular contracture occurs in patients following breast implant placement.  Basically, a capsule or a scar develops around the implant.  It manifests as breast pain and/or breast deformity or hardening.  It appears to be due to a low grade, chronic inflammatory state triggered by the presence of a “foreign body”, which an implant is.  The cells that mediate the contracture are called “myofibroblasts” and are the same cells that make a wound contract.  So, the scar forms a capsule around the implant and squeezes breast tissue, causing pain and/or deforming the breast and/or pushing the implant resulting in asymmetry.  “The chemical pathway that mediates this chronic inflammation is very similar to one of the chemical mediators seen in asthma and is called a “leukotriene” ” says Dr. Brooks .  Leukotrienes are naturally occuring compounds made by the body in response to inflammation.  They are made by the same pathway for natural compounds that produce pain in arthritis (prostaglandins) and airway spasms in asthma.                   

Prevention
The simplest prevention for capsular contracture is manual massage of the breast. This should be started when it is no longer painful after implant surgery (about a month).  Some patients find that laying down on their stomach also helps to stretch the capsule out in all 4 directions simultaneously by using their chest weight on the implant capsule. This is safe to do but should not be started until it is not painful to do so.

Natural Products
Once capsular contracture starts, there are many natural products that have been shown in the laboratory to inhibit leukotriene synthesis.  None of these have been clinically proven in any clinical trial to prevent or treat capsular contracture, but they are very safe and have minimal to no side effects when taken as a supplement.

There are no standardized doses for any of these compounds.  Here are Dr. Mai Brooks’ most popular ones:

  • Boswellia serrate (aka Indian olibaum) and Boswellia carteri – these are the plants that are used to make Frankincense
  • Ananas comosus (aka Bromelain) – this is an extract from Pineapple that is a leukotriene inhibitor.  Eating lots of pineapples will not give you enough of this extract, however.
  • Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis – these are also called  Cat’s claw.  Both species produce natural products that are leukotriene inhibitors
  • Delphinidin – This is a natural compound called an anthocyandin which is found in many fruits and vegetables.  It can be concentrated and taken as a capsule

If the patient continues to suffer despite the above natural therapies, Mai Brooks M.D. considers using drugs for the treatment of asthma that are leukotriene inhibitors, such as Singulair or Accolate.  Ultimately, the patient would need to have surgery to remove the capsules and the implants too.

Author Bio
Dr. Mai Brooks is a Board Certified Surgical Oncologist with offices in Thousand Oaks, CA. To request an appointment with Dr. Brooks, you may call her at (805) 379-4677 or visit her website.

 

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