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Hard Breast Implant After Replacement Surgery

I had my implants replaced after 9 years 10 days ago. One side is soft, feels fine and normal and the other is solid. Implant on the soft side moves freely while its difficult to move the one on other side. Should the hard side soften or is this something to worry about?

Doctor Answers 18

Hard breast on one side only 10 days post-op signifies a problem.

Capsular contracture does not occur this rapidly, so this is most likely a breast hematoma. It may be a small or gradually-occurring one, but the fact that one breast is soft and has good implant movement whereas the other does not, means something has happened on the "hard" side. Bleeding that is not tended to by re-operation for removal of the blood, rinsing of the pocket, and replacement of the implant can lead to that blood becoming a contracted capsule. Then it's a re-operation for a different reason. Fortunately, you already had a mature scar capsule, but your surgeon may have enlarged the pocket and made cuts in the scar that could bleed and cause your present asymmetry. This is more likely if you had larger implants placed, or if you had saline deflation that allowed your pocket to shrink over time.

See your surgeon promptly. Ice, elastic wraps or surgical bras, and "waiting until the swelling goes down" are NOT good advice here. This is bleeding until proven otherwise. Best wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 169 reviews

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Still Hasn't Settled yet

Your breast implant is probably sitting high and slightly compressed as tissue expansion is still in its early stages, leading to the firmer feeling. Give it about 3-4 months to settle. 


It is normal for the 2 sides to feel and look different initially and long term. If there is a great deal more bruising and/or pain, follow up with plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Jacob Freiman, MD, FACS
Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

One breast is harder than the other: when to look into this.

If this occurred suddenly, you should have it evaluated. If it is larger it may be a sign of seroma and the FDA has recently asked use to evaluate these more closely in the past.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Revision Breast Augmentation for Capsular Contracture

Revision surgery for breast implants is commonly done for size changes, though removing scar tissue around the implant which is called a capsulectomy is usually part od the operation. A capsular contracture usually does not occur one week after surgery and is more likely a hematoma, which is more common with a capsulectomy. I would recommend following up with your plastic surgeon. This may also represent muscle spasms though I would rule out a hematoma first before saying it is that.

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Firmness on one side after 10 days may be of concern.

At 10 days after surgery, each breast should have a similar feel to them. A very firm breast is concerning for fluid or blood around the implant. I recommend a follow up visit with your surgeon soon. Capsular contracture would take at least 4 weeks before showing any signs.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Hard Breasts for more than 6 months? See your doctor

It depends on how long it has been since the last surgery. It is normal for one side of the implant to feel firmer and experience more swelling up to 6 weeks post surgery. However, if it has been longer than 6 months or the hardness happened abruptly, it could be a sign of capsular contracture (formation of scar tissue). I would recommend contacting your physician for a follow up.

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

One hard side

The side that is hard may have some fluid or a hematoma and you may want to bring it to the attention of your doctor.Is that side bruised?Check it out with him.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Hard implants after revision breast augmentation

See your surgeon.  A mild difference in texture between right and left sides is not unusual, but a more dramatic difference may indicate a collection of blood (hematoma) or other problem.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Firm breasts after replacement

Developing firm breast within 2 weeks of surgery demands a visit to your surgeon to evaluate for fluid collections such as a seroma or hematoma.  Assuming these are not present, this may be a manifestation of early scar formation.

Samer W. Cabbabe, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.