How Fast Can Capsular Contracture Develop After Breast Augmentation?

I had my breast augmentation surgery 15 days ago and had an allergic reaction to a band aid I used over my nipples because they were too sensitive. Suddenly, I felt my breast really tight. Could I have an internal reaction that is causing the contracture? I have had Anaphylactic shock before. How fast can capsular contracture develop after breast augmentation surgery?

Doctor Answers 11

Early contracture is not the problem

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Contracture is not going to present this early. It doesn't meant that it won't present at all, nor does it mean that if the pocket is tight there is a higher incidence of it presenting. All it means is that your implant is larger than the pocket that was made for it so it feels tight. In time, your implants will stretch out the inner tissues and make room. Then you should feel them soften (that can take up to about 3 months).

In some patients this is necessary particularly if the size difference is really big (going from a AA to a D for example). Those patients are all going to feel the pocket tight. It is also possible that the pocket needs some time to stretch because it's smaller than the implant (even if your growth isn't as drastic as the cup sizes mentioned above).

In either case, it has nothing to do with the bandaid situation. Your nipple sensitivity and tight pocket sensation are both likely due to the same source. The implants are large and they are stretching your nerves; that is irritating them some. In time, everything should adjust and get better. You should keep your doctor very informed of this problem because there are some measures that could help make the process resolve a bit faster.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Earliest capsular contraction occurs 6-8 weeks after breast augmentation

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The nipple reaction to the band aid is unrelated to firmness of the breast implants.

Capsular contraction following breast augmentation with breast implants is a chronic phenomena and occurs late, usually months to years after breast augmentation.

I always check my breast implant patients at 6 weeks because that is the earliest I have felt the start of capsular contraction.

Contracture typically presents 2-3 months after surgery.

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It’s not unusual for patients to experience significant firmness and tightness following breast augmentation surgery.In the vast majority of cases, this tightness is related to muscle spasm and swelling.This is usually a temporary problem that tends to resolve with the passage of time.
In contrast, capsular contracture is a progressive deformity that gets worse with the passage of time.In addition, this problem takes time to develop.In most cases, capsular contractures don’t develop for at least 2 to 3 months following surgery.
For these reasons, it’s important to give your breasts time to settle.As swelling decreases and muscles relax, your breasts will drop into a more normal position.When this happens, you may ultimately be happy with the results of your procedure.

Unlikely to have a symptomatic capsular contracture at 15 days following a breast augmentaiton

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At 15 days it is very unlikely that you are developing a capsular contracture. Most likely you are experiencing some normal periodic swelling along with potential spasm of the chest wall muscle. Continue with your instructions from your plastic surgeon concerning massage of the implants and give the area more time to soften up. If you started with small breasts and had very tight skin and muscle you are going to experience some early firmness. The reaction that you had with the band aid is totally unrelated to the formation of a capsule around the implant.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast implant capsular contracture breast augmentation breast revision

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Hi Gandy,

It is doubtful that you are experiencing breast implant capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is thought to be scaring around your breast implant. Different types of implants (saline and silicone) and different positions of the implants have different capsular contracture rates. However, usually capsular contractures take months to develop. You describe a sudden onset of pain; this is rare for capsular contracture. It is more likely to be swelling or internal bleeding. it is important that you call and consult with your board certified plastic surgeon.

Good luck.

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Muscle Spasm vs Capsular Contracture - How to tell.

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Sounds like you have muscle spasm and not a Capsular Contracture - this is common and nothing to worry about as it goes away by itself in the first few weeks. Although capsular contractures following breast augmentation  can occur just about anytime, most women start having symptoms around three months after their breast implant surgery. This is because it takes some time for a capsule to form and then to scar down (contracture). Therefore it is probably too early at 3 weeks to be concerned about this problem. Your signs and symptoms are most likely from muscle spasm although other factors could also cause this. Your plastic surgeon should be able to sort this our in short order

Capsular contracture

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It is unlikley that a capsular contracture will develop in response to an external cutaneous reaction.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Capsular Contracture this early is unlikely

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Early on after breast augmentation muscular spasms can make things feel pretty tight. You want your surgeon following your through this period though because internal bleeding, infection and other "bad things" can also make things tight. Bleeding in there (hematoma) tends to hurt, so it is less likely in your case. Contracture doesn't tend to come into the equation (if it is going to do so) until a month or two at the earliest.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Time to relax and breath

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It is very normal for the breasts to feel firm two weeks after surgery. This is due to the stretch on the breast tissue and skin.

The capsule takes a long time to form and even longer to mature. It's only after it forms that it can develop contracture. Typically this is a year or longer and not a short term phenomenon. So relax and enjoy the new you.

Capsular contracture

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It is extremely unlikely to develop a capsular contracture after 2 weeks.  Initial firmness can be due to swelling. An early capsule usually does not develop for at least 4-6 weeks, and that is extremely rare.

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