A new study suggests that low-level laser therapy may be the solution to capsular contracture, a troublesome problem associated with breast augmentation and reconstruction procedures.
According to the authors, fibrous capsular contracture is a common complication of those procedures, one that typically results in significant patient dissatisfaction. Surgical and non-surgical measures both are used to treat the problem, mostly with mixed results, though surgery is considered the best method for treating the more severe grades of capsular contracture.
For this study, two osteopathic physicians and a plastic surgeon, all from the Philadelphia area, conducted a study involving 33 patients with grades III and IV capsular contractures. For six weeks, patients underwent one weekly 10-minute laser treatment with a 904 nm laser over a 2-cm2 grid pattern at one minute per area. Patients were asked to complete a post-treatment survey to determine their level of improvement and satisfaction.
The research team found that surgical intervention was avoided in 93.9% of patients with grade III and IV capsular contraction. Of the patients who avoided surgery, the laser improved breast stiffness by an average of 43.6% and improved comfort by an average of 48.2%.
The researchers conclude that low-level laser therapy is a promising alternative treatment for grades III and IV capsular contracture.
“This study is the first to look at using low-level laser treatment for capsular contracture,” study author William L. Scarlett, D.O., of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, tells Cosmetic Surgery Times. “The technology is promising for non-surgical treatment of capsular contracture. A larger study needs to be done looking at the protocol, frequency of treatment and long-term follow-up.”
The other authors are Jason D. Johnson, D.O., also of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Paul M. Glat, M.D., of the Drexel University College of Medicine.