Capsular Contracture Disappeared After Sleeping on my Side with Arm Extended?

I have under the muscle saline Mentor breast implants (textured, natural pear shaped) and developed minor capsular contracture in the left breast in the first few months. Now, years later, it recently became noticeably harder. After sleeping on my left side with my arm extended, I woke up and felt different. My breast was "relaxed" and not tight. Could the capsular contracture have possibly broke and the implant still be intact? If ruptured or leaking, how long before it becomes obvious?

Doctor Answers 4

Spontaneous Resolution of Capsular Contracture

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The treatment for capsular contracture about 20 years ago consisted of applying manual pressure (squeezing) to the capsule and implant to break open the scar tissue that was causing the breast to feel hard. This method was discontinued for obvious reasons.

1. The procedure was painful

2. The capsular contracture often recurred

3. The implants were ruptured by the excessive pressure.

Today, the definitive treatment involves revision augmentation surgery to remove the capsule and replace the implant.

To answer your question: Yes, it is possible that pressure from your sleeping position may have "popped" open your contracted capsule, resulting in a softer breast.

On the other hand, your implant may already be deflating. And, as the implant decreases in size, the breast feels more "relaxed." If the implant is leaking, you will notice in a size difference between your breasts, especially when you wear your bras. This may be evident after a week or so.

Thank you for your question and best of luck!


Gregory C. Park, M.D.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Can Capsular Contracture Disappear After Sleeping on my Side ?

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The intense scarring reaction referred to as a CONTRACTURE is VERY unlikely to resolve merely from sleeping on the breast. The softening noted is more likely to be due to a leaking implant. This will result in a smaller breast on that side in a few days time.

Relief of contractures requires a surgical cutting of the scar (OPEN CAPSULOTOMY) or partial or complete removal of the scar (CAPSULECTOMY).

I would refer you to your Plastic surgeon or if you moved to one referred by friends you trust.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD
Memphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Seems doubtful you released the capsule

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With a capsular contracture and a high round breast implant, is seems unlikely to us that you could release the capsule and contracture just by sleeping in a different position. Miracles can happen, but our experience with capsules is they can be very difficult to loosen. If the implant is leaking, then you will eventually notice the volume loss (our bet), and with saline you can replace at your leisure. The bra idea will not make a difference either way, so do what is comfortable.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Capsule Contracture

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Most Plastic Surgeons currently treat capsular contracture surgically, but in the past a proceedure called "closed capsulotomy" was commonly performed. This entailed sqeezing the breast until the capsule released (or tore). This fell out of favor since the implants can also rupture with so much pressure.

Since your implants are saline, IF they rupured, you should notice a gradual loss of volume on that side.I suggest that you see a board certified Plastic Surgeon to evaluate your breast implants and the contracture.

Lawrence Iteld, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 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.