The Use of “Precapsular Space” in Secondary Breast Reconstruction

Nicola Zingaretti, Francesca de Lorenzi, Francesco Dell’Antonia, Fabrizio de Biasio, Michele Riccio, Pier Camillo Parodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Periprosthetic capsule formation is a physiological phenomenon occurring around breast implants. In case of capsular contracture, several surgical techniques are described; among them, total capsulectomy is considered the gold standard, but it is not free of complications. A more conservative procedure is the use of “precapsular space”, leaving intact the preexisting capsule. The method presents minor complications and further advantages over total capsulectomy. Method: From November 2010 to June 2014, we treated 92 postmastecttomy patients who previously underwent implant-based reconstruction. They presented implant malposition (bottoming-out, double bubble deformity, upward migration) and different degrees of capsular contracture. The implant was repositioned in a neoprecapsular pocket. Sixty-eight out of 92 patients presented a follow-up longer than 24 months, and they are included in the present study. They were evaluated with a questionnaire 1 month before surgery, at 6 months and 2 years postoperatively. Moreover, two independent plastic surgeons completed the same questionnaire at 6 months and 2 years after surgery. Results: Mean follow-up is 29 months. Baker III–IV capsular contracture occurred in 9.5 % of the patients, implant malposition in 2.9 % of the cases and no implant displacement rotation was observed. Patient self-assessment preoperatively and postoperatively (at 2 years) revealed improved cosmetic outcomes (p <0.01). Surgeon assessment correlated with patient self-assessment. Conclusion: The use of precapsular space, first described for aesthetic augmentation, is a valid alternative to total capsulectomy for the treatment of capsular contracture or implant malposition, even in the reconstructive field. Level of Evidence IV: This journal requires that the authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 21 2016


  • Breast reconstruction
  • Capsular contracture
  • Dislocation
  • Implant malposition
  • Secondary breast reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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