Ask a doctor

One of my Breasts is Harder Than the Other - Why?

I am 32 yrs old and I had breast implants (Natrelle Saline filled, 450 cc in each) placed about 2 yrs ago and haven't had any problems, but about 3 days ago I noticed my right breast is harder than the left all of a sudden. It doesn't look any different, just feels harder than it had before. I am just concerned that something is going wrong with it. I am right handed, would that have anything to do with it, since i use the muscles in that side more? Should I see a Dr?

Doctor Answers (10)

Hardness of breast implants (capsular contracture)

+2

Hardness of breast implants after breast augmentation is usually due to excess scar tissue which has developed around the implants-known as capsular contracture.  The scar tissue forms a shell or capsule that can squeeze or contract the implant, occasionally causing pain and discomfort.  This complication occurs in about 10% of all patients who get breast augmentation. This condition usually develops within the first year after surgery but can occur at any time.  If it is detected early on, there are some medications that can help minimize the firmness, however, if it is established, you may need surgery to remove the excess scar tissue and replace the implant.

Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for more information on the management and treatment of capsular contracture.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

One implant suddenly harder: see your doctor

+1

Sudden changes in the breast could herald a capsular contracture, hematoma or even seroma. Recent concerns about the latter raised by the FDA suggest a possible evaluation for ALCL. See your doctor.

Web reference: http://www.bodysculptor.com/breast-surgery-chicago/breast-enlargement/

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Hardness of breast implant

+1

If one breast feels paritcularly harder than the other, you may be developing a caspular contracture and you should be evaluated by your surgeon.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Capsalur Contracture

+1

Your description sounds like you are suffering from a capsular contracture of the right breast.  The literature reports this happening in approximately 10-20% of breast augmentation patients.  The degree of contracture is categorized by Baker grades I-IV , with IV being the most severe.  Although the symptoms you describe seem mild,  I would recommend visiting your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Neil Zemmel, MD

Web reference: http://www.vabreastsurgery.com/breast-revision/

Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Capsular Contracture

+1

Sounds like you have a capsular contracture.  If your breast is hard and not painful then no treatment is recommended other than observation.  It is best to visit your plastic surgeon to get a good examination.

Dr. ES

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Hardness of breast after implants

+1

It is possible to develop hardness in one breast several months or years after breast augmentation, and this may be due to the onset of capsular contracture. You are best advised to seek consultation with your plastic surgeon and consider treatment options.

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Hardening of a breast implant implies a capsular contracture

+1

ChelleG,

Capsular contracture is the contraction/tightening of the scar capsule around the implant.  All implants have a capsule around them (it's the body's natural way of dealing with implants).  However, sometimes (and we don't really know why and when) the scar tissues contracts and compresses the implant.  It's called capsular contracture.  Initially in can be felt, then seen, and finally it can become painful.

You should see your plastic surgeon to see if there is anything he can do (in case this is capsular contracture).  In the early stages asthma medication has been shown to be helpful, in later stages only surgery can reverse the condition.  Unfortunately there is no guarantee that it will not happen again.  Capsular contracture is one of the risks associated with breast implants (or any implants).

Sincerely,

Martin Jugenburg, MD

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Capsular contracture is possible years after surgery

+1

You probably are just noticing some gradual firmness that started months ago- the process is called 'capsular contracture' - the capsule around your implant is beginning to thicken and contract. This can ultimately distort the implant position and size. There are a couple of non-surgical options (Accolade) which might be tried with varying success. The surgical options to manage capsular contracture include capsulectomy and replacement with textured implants, preferably below the muscle in a fresh tissue plane. See you plastic surgeon for an opinion.

Web reference: http://www.breastaugmentation-seattle.com/html/breast_surgery_introduction.php

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Unilateral Breast Hardness

+1

The most common cause of your breast hardness would be a capsular contracture at seven months following your augmentation.  However, there are other possible causes that could be more serious.  Therefore, you definitely should see your operating surgeon.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Hardening of a breast implant

+1

You should go back to your doctor for a check.  Hardening around an implant is generally caused by scar tissue called a capsular contracture.  This is the most common complication of breast implants.  If yours still look okay, you might be fine or maybe even just had a little muscle spasm.  If they start to look different, you will probably need a revision with scar removed and a new implant inserted.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

You might also like...