4 months post op, Is This Capsular Contracture?

I had surgery 4 mos ago and they look fantastic in the resting position. They're even, they move naturally. I love them. Until I raised my arms recently. If I raise my arms above my head, the left one Shoots up, and the right one doesn't really move much at all. Idk what to do! I was going tp ask my surgeon at my 4 mos appt and when I got there, there was a note on the door saying she retired! It baffles me and now Idk what to do l. something is wrong..please help. Thank you for any advice..

Doctor Answers 8

Capsular contracture?

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The fact that your breasts move naturally in the resting position leads me to think that you do NOT have a capsular contracture.  Since the change happens when you raise your arms above your head makes me think that this is related to the chest muscle (assuming that your implants were placed below the chest muscle).  The chest muscle attaches to your arm near the shoulder.  When you raise your arms, the muscle flattens out and exerts a force on the implants which can cause them to move.  The fact that one side moves more than the other could simply be the result of some normal asymmetry of this muscle (everyone has some asymmetries) or there might be more muscle attached to the ribs below the implants on one side than the other.  Normally, this muscle is released during the breast augmentation surgery.  If the latter is the case then this can be easily corrected by releasing more of the muscle below the implant.  Unfortunately, when implants are placed below the chest muscle, they may be under the influence of the muscle and behave in an unusual way when you move or twist in certain ways.  The trick is to learn to avoid those positions or postures that might enhance this appearance.

Muscle action can look like capsular contracture

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If you had capsular contracture at 4 months you would probably not look of move naturally like you describe.  Although there are varying degrees of contracture, you would probably be asking about pain, exaggerated shape, and/or hardness instead of what you are noticing.  This sounds more like a difference in muscle strength or give when you stretch them by raising your arms.

Myles Goldflies, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Care after surgery

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It is impossible to make specific comments about your case without photos, a face to face examination or knowing exactly what was done at surgery. It is disconcerting that your surgeon would have operated on you knowing they would retire a few months later without saying anything, not even a referral to another surgeon. I would call that unprofessional and selfish on the part of the surgeon.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Is This #CapsularContracture? ANS:

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I think your pocket that the implant sits in is just a bit different on each side and since you really don't see it in normal position, I doubt it would be CC. It is normal to see a bit of difference from side to side in certain positions and does not mean anything is wrong or needs to be fixed.

Post Operative Capsular Contracture

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Thank you for the question. It is difficult to give accurate advise without the aid of pictures or an in-person exam. However it sounds as what you are describing is a difference in how the implants are moving around in the pocket. This can be from a  pocket that is smaller than the opposite pocket so the implant does not have the mobility of the other. If they were both moving well before, then it may signal the beginning of a capsular contracture.

In either case continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon and be sure to voice your concern. They will be able to offer a more accurate opinion after an in-office evaluation.

Good luck.

Seeking help with breast implants if suspecting capsular contracture

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You may have capsular contracture or differential placement of the breast implant.  I would seek early advice with an examination and consultation for the capsular contracture. 

Capsular contracture

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Without pictures and a good exam, it can be difficult to determine if true capsular contracture exists.  How did your left implant move when raising your arms previously?  It may be possible that you are developing an early capsular contracture.  Your previous surgeon should have made arrangements to pass her patients on to a colleague.  Hopefully, they sent you a letter or some information on who to contact.  Otherwise, find a board-certified plastic surgeon in the area and I am sure they would be happy to see you. Good luck! 

Breast augmentation and capsular contracture

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Capsular contracture after breast augmentation can occur at any time after surgery. From your description it sounds like one implant is not moving as much as the other. That usually means that the pocket around one implant is smaller. This could be sign of early capsular contracture, if the implant was moving freely after surgery and it changed later. Your physician who retired would normally pass on their patients charts to a colleague who will take over following up on the recently operated patients, and will also receive the new referrals. Check to see if there is a physician taking over her patients charts.

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.