Is A Bubble on Top of Implant a Sign of Capsular Contracture?

I have had implants for 5 years. Already had them redone once because of a rupture. Now my right side is high and the original breast tissue is sagging. There is also a bubble on the top of the implant. If it's caps. contr., is there a way to soften it without surgery or at least without complete replacement. I don't think I can afford another surgery. I would have $21,000 implants.

Doctor Answers 5

Recurrent capsular contracture

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If you have had recurrent capsular contracture, it may be best to remove the implants entirely and perform a lift on the sagging breast tissue.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Problem with implants

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It sounds like you may have a capsular contracture or at least  breast glandular ptosis that my warrant a breast lift.

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

Breast tissue sagging off a "High" Breast Implant

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Without a photograph or an examination it is impossible to tell you what is going on. Usually, as we age augmented breasts age uniformly and sag uniformly. When an implant is very asymmetrical and appears higher while the breast tissues are sagging off of it may be indicative of a capsular contracture. The capsular contracture pulls the implant higher while gravity pulls the breast tissue lower.

The fact there are so many suggested non-surgical modalities to treat capsular contracture (Vitamin E, papaverine, certain anti asthma drugs etc) is a clear demonstration that none of these modalities, if any, really works. Surgery is the only clear solution for capsular contracture and it is associated with a possibility of recurrence.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants Changing Over Time

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Just because you have breast surgery, it doesn't't mean your breasts stop aging.  But the way you describe your problem may be two possible issues.  Firstly, if the breast is changing without and "sagging" of the tissues, the most likely cause is a capsular contracture - even at 5 years.  However, if the implant is in its proper location, and the breast tissue is sagging off the implant, then you have changes related to the natural aging process.  The implant is more secure in its location because of the capsule, but the breast tissue can descend more easily relating to time and loss skin elasticity.

Return to your doctor to discuss your concerns.  And there is a chance that both of these possible scenarios are occurring at the same time!

Best of luck

Vince Marin, MD, FACS

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon

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

Is there a need for revision breast surgery

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If you describe that your breast tissue is sagging off of the implant, it sounds as though you have a capsular contracture and may benefit from revision breast surgery. It is important for any woman to know that although we hope that you only have one breast surgery in your lifetime, the reality is that implants are not meant to be lifetime devices and your tissues do change. That having been said, I would recommend you follow-up with your plastic surgeon for an evaluation and possible revision surgery.

Take care,

Dr. Edwards

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.