Could Capsular Contracture Create Lateral Displacement of Breast Implants?

I had a breast augmentation procedure 3 years ago and developed a few months later capsular contracture - (Grade 3 in the Baker Grading System). Could this contracture explain the wide gap between my 2 breasts and now protruding breast-bone? Would there be non invasive therapies (eg: Aspen Rehab ultrasounds, massages) that would resolve this contracture / lateral displacement issues ? or would surgery be the only solution left to me ? My implants are cohesive gel implants and placed above the muscle. Thanks

Doctor Answers 8

Cause for a wide cleavage

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The wide distance between your implants can be caused by capsular contracture, however your photos do not show a vsable contracture suggesting that you have grade one or two capsules. You have a prominent sternum and slightly sloping rib cage so there is a natural tendency for your implantss to fall to the outside whn you lay down. This can be improved with revisional surgery to open the medial (inside wall) of your pocket and suture closed the lateral (outside wall) of your capsule.

Folsom Plastic Surgeon

Capsular contracture can distort the breast

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Your question raises several issues. First of all, capsular contractures can distort your breasts and pull them laterally. However, if you had a wide gap between your breasts before surgery, this gap will persist after surgery. There is so little subcutaneous fat over the breastbone that attempts to narrow the gap too much will leave the edge of any implant, including silicone, very visible through the skin.

Do you have bilateral contractures, and who told you they were Grade 3? I do not know if your surgeon discussed this with you, but placement of implants under the muscle may give better protection against capsular contracture.

Regarding treatment of capsular contracture, you can start with non-surgical, but ultimately surgery may be required. External ultrasound 3 times a week for several weeks may soften the capsule. There are 2 asthma medicines, Accolate and Singulair, that have been used. Also, Vitamin E, 400 units twice a day may help. Finally, an anti-hypertension medicine called PavaBid may relax the contracture.

I have not had much success treating contractures non-surgically. Most often I end up performing a total capsulectomy or a I create a new (neopectoral) pocket. In your case, I also would place the implants under the pectoralis muscle. Most recently, the addition af a sheet of a material named Strattice has helped prevent the reformation of the contracture.

Good luck.

Bruce E. Genter, MD, FACS
Abington Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Capsular contracture

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A capsular contracture can cause displacement of your  breast implants laterally but so can your anatomy.

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

Could Capsular Contracture Create Lateral Displacement of Breast Implants?

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Capsular contracture may cause lateral displacement of the breasts and increased visibility of the subcutaneous structures.

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

A world "apart"

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Capsular contracture can cause displacement of implants. The wide distance between one's breast can be enhanced by contracture but in my experience the wide gap is present before surgery. I look at the nipple position and if it is wide this usually means that the breast naturally sit widely apart on the chest. Some women have chest deformities from birth that will not allow the breast and/or implants sit closer together on the chest.

In your case, there are no non surgical corrections. You probably would benefit from removal of the implants and some of the capsule and placement of new implants beneath the muscle. Remember your anatomy may not allow implants to sit any closer together.

I hope this is helpful.

Capsular contracture can be treated

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You have wide space due to the capsular contracture. You will capsulectomy and implant exchange. This will not help the wide gap. The options are limited and going bigger implant is one option that I would not recommend. The option is to redo your implants and use fat grafting to fill the gap. For the fat grafting you need to find a plastic surgeon that has experience with the fat grafting.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Lateral displacement of breast implants can be corrected.

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1) Capsular contracture is probably not the cause of the large distance between your breast implants, but cannot be sure from the one picture.

2) Whether or not the contracture caused the lateral displacement, I am afraid the only way to improve things is with a revision breast augmentation.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Capsular Contracture and lateral displacement of breast implants

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A Baker 3 Contracture could easily cause lateral implant displacement as could the assymetric shape of your  ribcage. A trial of singular or acculate may be helpful along with exercises to stretch the capsule medially.   

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.