Bad Implants or Capsular Contracture?

I had my breasts done in 03. I noticed my breast is higher and firmer so I saw a doctor, he said this was due to a capsular contracture. Unfortunately after having a child and my expenses, I cannot afford to get my breasts redone. recently the R Breast has become extremely painful and a lot firmer, it hurts to even turn or pick up my 11 month old. I don't think my med insurance will cover another surgery. I found the org doc has a suspended license and a lot of complaints. now what? am I stuck?

Doctor Answers 10

Bad Implants or Capsular Contracture?

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Implants themselves are not the cause of the problem. However biofilm formation and may have been associated with your pregnancy and/or breast feeding if performed. The simplest and most cost effective solution would be implant removal.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Capsular Contracture will not get better by itself

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Hi there-

Capsular contracture is unfortunately a recognized risk of breast augmentation. We do not definitively understand the cause, nor are there effective and safe non-surgical options.

At it's heart, this is a consequence of cosmetic surgery, and so your insurer will not cover costs related to its correction. It would also not be reasonable to think that your original surgeon somehow is responsible.

Sooner or later you will need an operative procedure (at your expense) to correct the situation.

Capsular contractures

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If you have a pianful capsular contrcature then you should probably see a plastic surgeon to have the breasts fixed by having the capsule removed.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Bad implants or capsular contracture

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Now what? you ask. Seek opinion from boarded PS to discuss your issues. Only a re operation will correct these problems. And yes there are expenses.

Sorry DR. B

I would have to say capsular contracture

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I would like to tell you that this is a problem all plastic surgeons face - capsular contracture several years after breast augmentation.  We are not sure why it may occur in one breast and not the other but the signs and symptoms you complain about are classic for a capsular contracture.

There are several questions I have for you: Are the implants over or under the muscle? Are they saline or silicone? How long after the original surgery did you notice the implant being too high and hard?

I am curious if you breast fed your child and the hardening occurred shortly thereafter as I have seen this occur following breast feeding.  If it is painful at some point in time you will want to have the problem treated.  I know that insurance does not cover the cost of capsulectomy or capsulotomy and re-augmentation as these are a result of cosmetic surgery.  I would doubt the implants are defective.

If finances are a concern you might try looking into one the the Plastic Surgery Residency Programs in your area.  The rates are dramatically lower.  You would be operated on by the residents under the watchful and participating eyes and hands of a board certified plastic surgeon.  It certainly is an option to consider with tight finances and a capsular contracture.  Good luck.

Capsular contracture after breast augmentation

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The implants were probably not defective, as capsular contracture is a known complication of breast augmentation.  As surgeons. we are unable to predict if this complication will occur.  The best treatment is really implant removal with or without replacement.  Unfortunately, most insurance companies will nto cover this, but you could call your company to check.  Some physicians prescribe medications such as Accolate to help with contractures, but the literature on this topic is not definitive.  I suggest seeing a board-certified surgeon in your area for some guidance on this issue.  Good luck, /nsn.

Breast Augmentation and Capsular Contracture

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Breast augmentation has become the most popular cosmetic procedure in the US, but unfortunately we still don't entirely understand how/why capsular contracture arises.  Even in the best of circumstances, this problem can occur quickly or even many years after the orignal surgery.  It is likely unrelated to your particular surgeon, the implant or even the changes associated pregnancy and breast feeding.

There is no medical urgency to correct this (related to the contracture alone), but with associated pain and discomfort, most patients would like to have this remedied sooner than later.  The treatment usually involves the removal of the capsule with the replacement of the implant.  In the majority of cases, this will correct the problem.  However, some patients can produce a subsequent capsule again.

The cost associated with this procedure is rarely covered by insurance and no fault of the implant manufacturer or your surgeon.  Thus, it is an associated risk with the procedure that is frustrating to both patient and surgeon alike.

Best of luck.

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Capsular contracture does not mean bad implants

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With a capsular contracture that is causing pain you will need to do something to help.  There are some less expensive alternatives but they are not always what you want to do.  The implants can be removed and this will relieve the pains.  The capsule can be opened or partially removed to relieve the tightness; this has a high chance of recurrence.  These are some of the quicker and less expensive options. 

The more permanent correction is the removal of the capsules and place new implants or move the implants to a pocket below the muscle. 

Best Wishes.

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Capsular Contracture and Implants

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Unfortunately, this is a known complication of breast augmentation surgery, and hence usually not covered by insurance.  There are some insurance companies that will cover the removal of the implant for pain/ contracture issues, but it is rare.  There really is no other answer when someone develops painful capsular contracture other then to go in surgically and remove the scar tissue, change the implant, etc.  If you have silicone implants, this may be a sign that it has developed a tear in the shell, and is something I would talk to your surgeon about.  I hope thsi helps.

Camsular Contracture Scarring of a Breast Implant

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A Breast Augmentation is a Cosmetic Surgery operation. Scarring around a breast implant or Capsular Contracture is a known complication of Breast Augmentation and does not by itself mean or prove that your original surgeon did anything wrong. Since medical insurance companies DO NOT pay for cosmetic surgery (IE Breast Augmentation), they will definitely NOT pay for complications of Cosmetic Surgery such as capsular contracture surgery. In other words, you will have to pay out of pocket for this surgery just as you did the For your breast augmentation.

IF you want to pick another surgeon, try our national society directory at

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.