One of the most common complications of the use of foreign material, in both reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery, is capsular contracture. Historically, research on capsular contracture has focused mainly on reducing bacterial contamination through antibiotic solutions. Only secondary studies have focused on pharmacological control of the inflammation process, with particular attention paid to the main inflammation pathway, the arachidonic acid cascade. An important role in the arachidonic acid cascade is played by the omega-3 fatty acids, which are found mainly in oily fish and food supplements. The goal of the present study was to investigate the effects of omega-3 supplements on capsule contraction.
Female C57BL/6 mice were implanted with custom-made silicone gel implants and divided into two groups. The treated group received omega-3 oil daily while the control group received water daily by gavage. After mice were euthanized, samples of capsules were collected to evaluate thickness and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β expression.
The results showed that capsules in the omega-3 group were thinner and more transparent than those found in the control group. In addition, a significant downregulation of the TGF-β2 gene transcript was observed in the omega-3 group.
Omega-3 supplementation seems to be effective in reducing the occurrence of capsular formation, mainly through inhibition of the TGF-β pathway and impairment of collagen deposit. Omega-3 supplementation is a simple and promising method that could be used to prevent or at least reduce capsular contracture after silicone implant surgery.