Hardness at Top of the Left Breast Implant After Unrelated Surgery

After open heart surgery I have hardness at top of left breast Implant. I had emergency open heart surgery, mitral valve replacement. I have saline implants which the surgeons were being very careful with. I have at the top under collar bone, only on the left breast, a hard spot, it feels like scar tissue and the edge of the implant. Had a titanium mitral valve put in. The hard area is causing pain like it is on a nerve going down my shoulder and arm. It has not deflated. Do you think this could be serious? I have no extra money or health insurance for it! I'm 54.

Doctor Answers 3

Hardness on chest

 A firm area above your chest after heart surgey could be many things from the catheter used to measure central venous pressures to scar tissue to  ame a few. You should have it checked out to be sure.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Hardness at Top of the Left Breast Implant After Unrelated Surgery

When performing open heart srugery, it is not uncommon to place a central venous catheter in the location you are describing. Before getting concerned about the implant, query your cardiac surgeon about the presence of such a catheter. Althernatively you could get an MRI.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Hardness at top of the left breast implant after unrelated surgery

The hardness at the top of your implant sounds like capsular contracture. During your surgery, a pocket was made in your breast for the implant. When breast implants are placed into the body, a lining or capsule of tissue forms around the implants as you heal. This is your body's natural response to a foreign object. Usually, the pocket will stay open and the capsule stays soft. However, our body will sometimes want to shrink the "scar" tissue, which is what occurs during capsular contracture. The capsule tightens around the implant, causing it to look differently and feel hard.
It is uncertain when and why this happens, but it is more common in the first couple months after surgery. However, capsular contracture can happen at any time. You may have a higher risk of contrature following an infection or if the implant shell has been exposed to bacteria. Placing the implant above the muscle as opposed to behind the muscle, also has a tendency to put you at a higher risk for capsular contracture.

Since I don't know to much about open heart surgery, you should contact your plastic surgeon. I hope the best of luck to you!

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.