Part 2: Capsular Contracture at 4 Months Post Op- Houston, TX

You can read Part 1 of my journey here. Hello...

You can read Part 1 of my journey here.

Hello Ladies!
It's been almost 3 weeks since I started my ultrasound appointments. The therapy is done for 10 minutes at 2.0 (Kwh?), although yesterday she did it at 2.5.

My hubby and I are thinking that it has softened the CC boob up some. We are gauging by feel and also when I lay flat on the floor it no longer feels like such a big ball on the left side. It is by no means gone, but maybe some improvement. The big question is will it stay this way once treatments are done or get worse again??

I think the size difference is still there, the left one has not dropped back down.
I checked another doctor and he basically quoted me $5K to do a capsulectomy compared to my docs $3,300. Interestingly enough, he actually did not think I had CC and thought my pocket needed to be dropped instead and would do a capsulotomy for $3,100.

Ooops, I accidentally put my official post int he...

Ooops, I accidentally put my official post int he comment section. I'm a veteran you'd think I'd have this down by now. Lol
I am reposting it. Sorry!

So I am making an official post since I havent been able to in a while b/c I talk waaaayy too much! Yup, me and Breasto broke the word limit! LOL~ Well I have 1.5 weeks left of ultrasound (US) treatment. That is a total of 6 more visits totaling 6 weeks of 3x's a week. I think I could really feel a hardness difference at 4 weeks. When I massage with my hand, for the most part can still feel the hard capsule still it's just not as hard. But when I lay flat on the floor, I no longer feel the hard ball that was once present on my left side. They feel the same now withonly a tightness on the sides if I roll to the left or right. As a side note, I am concerned I might be grade II on my right side and the doc just hasnt caught it. I go in for an appointment on the 15th, my PS is going to evaluate my progress. I am going to ask him if the hardness may come back after I stop US treatments. I am worried about that. At this point I am on hold for doing anything. Options I have been considering are 1) Capsulectomy 2) Capsulectomy w/Strattice 3) Pocket Protector by Dr. Berman 4) Explant (remove em!) 5) Or live with them as they are for as long as I can stand it. At this point, everything is on hold. I am not going to jump the gun, and in the meantime I have been doing as much research as I can trying to figure out what to do. I am looking to see how many people have had a straight capsulectomy and have not had a recurrence. I have found a few people who have been so lucky. Makes me consider trying it.

Posting updated and informative pics for you guys....

Posting updated and informative pics for you guys. Note that the mammogram is not me.

I am adding some pics of implants removed with...

I am adding some pics of implants removed with capsules. I apologize if it is more graphic than anyone cares to see, but I thought would be informative of anyone wanting to know. The picture with the capsulized implant next to a regular implant shows how much it restricts, then one that shows the capsule cut open shows how much pressure is released when spliced open. I hope these pics are not against RS policy, but I am sure someone will tell me if it is.

**6 months** Well ladies, my 6 month post-op...

**6 months**
Well ladies, my 6 month post-op boobie-versary was on the 11th.
I am also at the end of my 6 weeks of Ultra sound therapy and I have an appt with my PS tomorrow to check my progress.
I feel that even thought the US has made my breast softer, the CC is still there. I think it is as good as its going to get without surgery. I am thinking I still have my 4 options.
1) Live with it 2) Regular capsulectomy $3,300 3) Capsulectomy with Strattice $7,800 4) Explant.
Part of me wants to explant and just be done with the whole thing. The other part of me wants to keep my new boobies as it is something I had wanted for so long and now I am more proportionate!
SIGH! What to do?
Well I will let you know what he says tomorrow, but I am sure my options will be the same.
Oh, and for those of you that quit smoking for your augmentation- I would suggest DONT START BACK UP! They DO feel that there is a link of CC and smoking although you see non-smokers get it. But why chance it?
I started smoking at post-op month 3, started feeling a tightness at 3.5 months, and was diagnosed at month 4 with CC.
I still haven't quit smoking again, but plan to do so by this weekend.

Ok ladies! I had my appointment with my doc and I...

Ok ladies! I had my appointment with my doc and I have reached a decision. I feel much better about things and now I finally have a game plan. I am going to go with the capsulectomy with strattice and just wait until I can afford the surgery before doing it. I will try to save up or what not but this is the route I am going to go. I believe that this IS the best route to go to prevent CC from happening again. My doc has done many capsulectomies with strattice for CC and has NOT had one recurrence. I feel better after talking with them even though they told me what I already knew except I did ask about tissue removal with capsulectomy and he said that none is removed. Only the capsule and they put a whole new implant in. AND they said it may not get any worse than it is now and that the US may have stopped it from getting worse. We will see but I have time to wait, so I will do just that. Hopefully I will be able to have the surgery within a year from now. I would like to keep my new boobs, so I am feeling better that I now have a solution that will work.

Happy Thanksgiving girls! I hope you have a...

Happy Thanksgiving girls! I hope you have a wonderful day with your friends and family!

**ALMOST 7 MONTHS** Everything is going good,...

Everything is going good, aside from the CC. As far as feeling a part of me, I would say that I am always aware that they are not my natural breast. No big deal, but I remember one girl considering implants and she was freaked out about the idea of it. My scars have gotten lighter, my CC seems to be holding. By that I mean not getting any harder. Aside from some upper-pole fullness on the left side it is not so noticeable in clothes. A bikini however would be a different story. Those tank-inis hide it though. I have recently bought some Calvin Clein un-padded wireless bras. Being over weight, I sometimes feel like my boobs make me look even bigger. I have also used the bikini top padding in the underwire to hide the nips if I am going out. Otherwise, these ones are pretty comfy and help minimize my size a little bit. I will be posting pics of my scars and the bras soon.

Hello Ladies, I thought I would update and tell...

Hello Ladies,
I thought I would update and tell you that most, if not all of my numbness is gone and I pretty much have full sensation in my breasts and nipples. That my be a relief for those that are worried about it. There is a slight numbness on the bottom portion still. At some point after surgery I found my nipples would contract even though I couldn't feel a thing. I felt it was a good sign that they still were functioning and thank goodness I was right.
I have decided not to add any more pics at this point since we can no longer edit or remove any. I dont like that idea at all.
But anyways, I hope you are all enjoying your boobies, the holidays, and your families.
We have much to be thankful for. I gotta say I am thankful that the seat-belt in the car no longer makes me look flat chested. Lol
Merry Christmas boobie buddies! You guys are the best!

**8.5 months (9 months would be on 2/11/13)** Hi...

**8.5 months (9 months would be on 2/11/13)**
Hi Ladies, Just thought I would post that at this point I am trying to save up the moolah to have my surgery. Unfortunately, that is probably going to take me a while. Over a year?? Good lord, I don't know. But I will let you know (If you're still around by then) when I am getting the revision and then how things go afterwards. I am really hoping by Christmas 2013. Until then- Have a Happy Boobie life and I want you to know that I have enjoyed taking this journey with you and making such wonderful boobie friends. =) I should still be getting notifications if you send me a message or post to my review. HUGS!

Shooting for Jan- March

Just to update, I am shooting for CC surgery after the New Year. Hopefully January or February, but I will have to see the closer that gets. Doc gets booked up fast so I will have to plan ahead. So the plan is capsulectomy with strattice in left breast with implant replacement. Doc says once you remove the implant from the body, the warranty is voided so you may want to keep that in mind if a doc ever wants to reuse the same implant for a revision surgery on you. Or better yet, check out your implant companies website to find out for sure. I hope all my boobie friends are doing well!~

1 year 5 months post op, Possible change of plans!

Hi ladies! I know I haven't been on here in a while, but I honestly haven't had anything new or interesting to post. Until now that is... Well tomorrow I have another appt. with my doc. I have been trying to save up $9K for a capsulectomy with strattice for my left breast. Well, that isn't going so well. Lol. It is sooo hard to save that much! And guess what?! His rates are going up again soon. =( So I am now actually considering biting the bullet and getting the straight capsulectomy for $3,300 and just see what happens. If I get CC again, well then Strattice is my last chance. Something new is that I am concerned I may be getting the CC in my right side now. I can feel the capsule on the outside of my nipple feels thick and hard. Not the whole thing, just that outside part. And when I turn to look over either shoulder while driving, I get a weird strain in my right breast. And when I lay on the floor I feel like a ball is forming. So sadly I am concerned I will need the capsulectomy for both sides! Oh, what to do!?!

Back to the original plan!

Well after my appt. I am back to the original plan. Casulectomy with strattice. Doc informed me that he just read a new article about CC recurrences and it is up from the original 33% (1 in 3 will get it again) to 54% now! He feels I would be throwing my money away by getting a straight capsulectomy. And if that % rate is true, I'll have to agree. So now I am trying to figure out if I can afford to do the surgery over Christmas or if I should wait till next Christmas. He also doesn't believe I am getting CC in the right side. I am going to wait on that one since there is no price break. Well that is all I got for now. I need to post an updated pic soon, I hope all is well with you!

Almost 2 years Post op

I am FINALLY scheduled for my revisiom surgery for Capsilar Contracture. My surgery date is the 27th of March. Yay! I will continue my journey on the revision site and I will post a pic over the next couple of weeks (before surgery) there of what I look like now-1 year 10 months post-op with CC in my left side. I will be relieved when this is over. I am crossing my fingers that this is THE fix.
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Vitenas and his team were awesome. Made me feel very welcome and were highly professional. I was very confident in the quality of his work before going in, and I believe that my post-op recovery is a confirmation of that. I would recommend anyone to him if they are considering breast augmentation. PROS: Stitchwork is excellent (Inframammary incision, no puckering, or gaps, no stitch removal) Recovery was a breeze- didnt even need pain meds but had them, i was able to lift arms overhead right after surgery He chose a good size to make me proportionate CONS: If you are looking for a doc to baby you and give you lots of emotional support, Dr. Vitenas isn't really like that, but his staff do provide that aspect of it. They are always happy to answer questions. For me, I was more concerned with a doc who was gonna do a kick ass job - and he did. So I guess not too much of a con for me, but might be for you. I should mention that the price breaks for revisions aren't as cheap as some docs give their patients (but still cheaper than having a new doc do it), but i think that's ok because we are paying for quality. I believe the mans got "skills." So discuss possible revision pricing with him if that is a concern before you have surgery done to make sure you can afford another if necessary. I didn't mind his no-nonsense way and really appreciated his high quality of work. The quality is after all what matters the most in the end.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (132)

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Thank you for giving us such detailed information on capsular contracture! Of all the doctor questions and reviews I have read on it, yours is by far more informative than all those others combined! I had no idea that smoking increases your chances, so I appreciate you putting that in there. I smoke E-cigarettes, but they probably aren't any less harmful in the long run. I hope your surgery goes well and fixes the CC so you never have to deal with it again! Best wishes to you and I look forward to following the rest of your journey. :)
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Thank you MKCT! I was actually just smoking the e-cig myself again until February. I quit in preparation of my revision. Those things are addicting for me too! Well I think your right in that they aren't good for you either, but surely better than a real cigarette? I'm sure they'll tell us in 10 years its actually worse than a real cigarette! Lol. I just had my revision surgery and am 2 weeks into recovery right now. Are you suffering from CC too?
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I'm glad you made it through your revision! And I hope you don't get CC again. I'm just reading up on it bc it's the complication with the highest rate of occurrence. It scares me, but I want to be prepared just in case it happens. I'm hoping the E-cig doesn't contribute to it. My doctor said the nicotine could affect how fast I heal, but didn't seem too concerned about it bc it was just a BA. He said if ilI had a lift or some other more invasive procedure, he would have required me to give it up. They HAVE to be better than regular cigarettes! They don't have 1000 different chemicals, only 5 chemicals. And nicotine itself has been proven to be non-harmful for the body (except for delaying healing). I'm glad to see quit for your surgery. I'll continue to follow your story and pray for your fast recovery! *hugs*
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Congrats! I'm glad you have a date now. The end, and a new beginning, is in sight.
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Hey TC! Good to hear from you! I know, it's been a long journey! And I'm praying this is THE fix. How ate things going for you?
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Good to hear from you. Good luck on this go-around.
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Thank you MMB2! Sorry i t doesn't look like I replied to your last comment, I've been MIA for a while. I'll beosting all new info on my revision page. If you check my profile you'll find it. Thanks for reading about my journey and checking up on me. Do you have CC too?
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Sorry, do not have CC but have breast work in my future so have been following your progress.
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hi scrappy, thanks for sharing your journey with us. I'm only finding it now even though I've been here a while. Would love for an update, more than anything just to know you're ok. Happy New 2014.
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It's good to hear from you . I hope u get to have it done soon . Hugs !
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Hey scrappy, how are things going? Did the Ultrasound therapy help enough to make things livable for a while? I am so happy for you that you took your time and saved your money for the full dermal matrix revision. There are too many capsulectomy heartbreaks, I know supposedly it works 2/3 of the time, but over the longterm I bet its not even that successful (having had one side CC, I always felt something "brewing" in there that wasn't in the other side, and I think to even have a shot at removing whatever is causing the CC you do need the full-meal-deal of capsulectomy / new implant. I don't know how to describe it, but the side with CC always felt "infected" and like the funky CC implant itself was the pathogen!). You will feel good with a completely fresh start on that side, and if you are determined to keep implants after CC its by far the most promising option, especially with a dermal matrix! You are doing everything to stack the outcome in your favor. I am so relieved to be done with the wretched hard-CC, that I am fine with the trade-off of being smaller / flatter / natural -- but it is a trade-off if you don't want to explant. I hope your revision goes awesome, you've taken your time researching and planning - so if anyone can beat CC it should be you. Stay strong X
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Hi LuvRealBoobsInOR,  Thank you for your words of encouragement. I completely agree with all that you said. If the strattice doesn't work, I'll be following in your footsteps and explanting. I'll keep everyone posted as far as my revision surgery goes and the outcome. Unfortunately, I feel like a guinea pig! Guinea pigs have an advantage though in that they don't pay doctors to experiment on them! Lol. It will be an expensive learning experience that's for sure. If it works though then it could help many other girls who want to keep theirs. I feel so bad for the ones who get CC over and over and they just keep dishing out the moolah. Well, we will see soon enough. Hugs to you girl!   
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I'm glad you are getting closer to your revision. Keep us updated as you get closer.
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Thanks TC, I will! How have you been doing??
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Yay ! Your getting there to getting your revision .
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Yes, I can't wait! It's be a while that I've had this...
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Hi, Scrappy Thanks so much for sharing your story about CC. I was amazed to hear your play by play because the onset sounds so much like mine. Like you, I find it a burden to pay for a revision, but I'm at the point that I know I need to. I last saw my doc at my 1 1/2 year (I'm now 3 years) and he said, "well, it looks like a little CC, but if it doesn't hurt or bother you, then don't worry about it for now." I'm kind of mad because I was just too shy, I think, to say, "hey, I'm scared, and this really freaks me out." I think I knew it would be expensive to fix it, and my doc is not very emotionally supportive either. I would like to investigate the therapy you had; I am worried mine get worse. I'm not sure my doc even does revisions. I heard the assistant on the phone one time saying he doesn't do revisions, but may just other doc's revisions. I have silicone, armpit incision, sub-muscle. I was a first-timer who went from an A to a C. My problem is my lefty, too, and my righty is probably stage 2 but still pretty soft and movable. I'm so bummed about it, but I'm glad to know I'm not alone. I am so, so grateful for this forum. I will follow your progress. You've inspired me to get my butt in to see my doc. Thanks!
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Hi Thea! So sorry to hear that your doc is no help whatsoever! You could try the ultrasound therapy, it may slow it down or even stop it from getting worse. Although there is not enough studies to prove it. I am skeptical about you continuing on with your doc as he sounds like he either doesnt want to help you or he just CAN'T. If he doesnt do revisions thats a red flag! Maybe the man doesnt have any skills then. (no offense) And that may be an experience a newbie could learn from as they look for potential PS's. If you are interested in US, I would call some local physical therapy centers and ask them if they treat CC with US. They may require a prescription from your doc, but then you could go ask him. OR they might think your crazy if noone around there does that. Lol. There is also a center that specializes in it in Florida, but I do not know if they are credible. I had found a doc in Dallas who did their US technique but it is kind of expensive and you'd have to be available for a week.  Let me find a link to give you. You could also ask about a singulair prescription. Some people thinks it helps some dont bother with it. But it is an alternative to surgery. How bad is your lefty?
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Here it is..Aspen Rehabilitation Center..... Looks like closest to you is Maryland and New Jersey. Check it out and let me know what you think. I would see if you could find out more about them. I tried looking for reviews and couldnt find much....
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BTW Thea, I am sure you heard me say.... but you could also consider the regular capsulectomy. I just want to do what I can to not have another surgery so am "going for the gold" and getting strattice. 1 in 3 girls get CC again after a regular capsulectomy. If you get CC again chances of recurrence jumps up to 66%. Strattice supposedly reduces to less than 1% and I havent heard of anyone getting it again after that. It MUST happen though as docs caution that it can happen. But who knows... you might be one of the  lucky ones!
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Hi, Scrappy--you are so, so nice to send me the link to Aspen. I will check them out and post what I learn. Maryland is about 7 hours away, but NJ is only about 3-4. Definitely possible. My lefty is probably stage 2 3/4 to 3. She sits a bit higher on my chest--visibly--but I have always wondered if it is because the pocket wasn't cut low enough. Immediately after the surgery, my righty moved a lot (so much that it really worried me), but my lefty did not move after surgery. My righty has more tissue, but I had the same cc implants in both breasts. I wonder if the pocket misalignment contributed to the cc. I don't have pain, yet. After doing some reading, I think I should address the issue right away. Thank you, so much, for posting your experience and information. I have read that infections can affect cc, and I wonder how much this is true. I recently had a couple root canals that required I be on antibiotics, and now that I look back I had bronchitis six months after my BA. I wonder if these could have affected cc. So, my course of action will be to talk with my wonderfully supportive GP and see if she will prescribe Anti-inflam Rx and Rx for physio-ultrasound. Will keep you all posted :)
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Hi Thea, I wish you the best of luck in finding a solution that works for you! CC definitely will pull the implant up, so be careful of having the pocket lowered in case the pocket is not the problem. It is fixable if you didnt need it lowered, but could cause another host of problems if not fixed well. If you see my pics, mine has pulled up as well. I have a larger top bubble and the bottom of my breast feels empty. Another doc didnt think I had CC and instead wanted to lower the pocket. He obviously doesnt know what he's doing! So glad he wasnt my PS. I would compare your post-op pics and see if it has always looked lopsided or not. That is weird that one moved alot more than the other right after surgery. The pocket could have been cut different in each. I would get the CC fixed first before anyone messes with pockets  unless they can determine that it is definitely too big. When you lay on your back does a breast fall into your armpit? That will tell you if the sides of the pocket was cut too large. Of all the information out there on CC, the one conclusive thing that is definitely a proven FACT is the presence of bacteria in CC breasts. So the illnesses you experienced definitely could have caused it. Some people say ANYTIME you go to the dentist you should be pretreated with antibiotics to prevent this problem, but I dont know if it would really prevent the problem. Its possible and probably worth the effort to prevent the PITA (pain in the a**) dealing with CC is. If you get surgery I recently read that one should wait for all changes to the CC breast stop so it is not actively constricting before operating again to give you the best possible chance in not getting CC again.  Please do keep me posted! And I would like to hear a first hand account of the Aspen treatment if you decide to try it. I was so afraid to spend the money on it if it didnt work.
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Be careful messing with your pockets! Chances are they were cut just fine. I didn't develop CC until 6-7 years after my BA (it was my leftie also). My BA was absolutely symmetrical, my boobs were perfect mirror images until that point *years* later. Then things went crazy - you can see my pics if you want! For some of you girls who get it so early, you never got to see your "normal" results - so you may be mislead into thinking something is wrong with one of your pockets etc... Well, there is something wrong with your pocket, it's called CC! By definition CC is squeezing the implant and causing it to not fit/move in the pocket properly. When a surgical mistake is made (pocket cut wrong) the implant does not have to get hard & contract to show problems, the complications are NOT CC - examples symmastia, bottoming out etc. If you have CC, address that and do not take on any "pocket repair" because your pocket was probably cut identical on both your sides. The CC can do insane things to move/distort your breasts in all sorts of ways. Best of luck to you and all my CC sisters! I am explanted now, but CC was part of my life for 6 years, so I still feel your pain. ;(
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I'm a newbie! Wanted to ask you if there were any signs early on that you noticed prior to getting CC? I'm only at the one week post op mark and am trying to educate myself for the future :-)
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Hi Beckwo,  Welcome to RS and the boobie community! Feel free to ask away.  No I can't say that there were early signs except at 3months I did feel a strain in my breasts when I had my arms up or out when I was laying down. I can't remember which. Then one day I had my arm up over my head while I was laying down and I tried massaging it with my other hand and noticed the hardness. I have heard stories of girls who have had their implants for years and then getting CC. I think it is less likely than the first 2 years where your risk is the highest, but just remember it can happen anytime for no reason. I had asked my doc how could I have gotten it when I massage all the time? He said it doesn't matter. If your body is going to do it then there is nothing you can do. I personally think it's your body rejecting it. But why one and not the other? Who knows? Maybe that one was somehow contaminated with bacteria in some way. It could've been bacteria I already had in my body or that the implant wasn't sterile or something. What they do know is that most CC cases (if not all) have bacteria associated it. Hope this helps!
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