Capsular Contracture 4 Weeks Post Op? Hardness Under Scar on Right Breast?

I am 4 weeks after my op. i have been massaging once a day as instructed. Today i have noticed a hard area under the scar on my right breast. it feels about an inch long. This breast is harder than my left breast and it took longer for the pain to go away in this breast. I am scared this may be the start of a capsular contraction. Should i massage more? Is there anything more i can do to stop it from getting worse

Doctor Answers 8

Capsular Contracture 4 Weeks Post Op?

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It is a bit early to suspect a capsular contracture at four weeks. If you are right-handed, the pectoral muscle will be larger, and more compressive of the implant for the first few months, and it would not be alarming if that side felt tighter. I am not sure what you are feeling at the level of the scar, other than the scar itself.

Your own surgeon will be in a better position to answer these questions, and they certainly are all appropriate questions to ask. All the best. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Hardness of scars

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Hello. There is a good chance that the hardness you feel is scar formation in the incision and not a problem with the capsule. It is also not uncommon for breasts to heal at different rates which may explain the hardness in your right breast when compared to your left. You should bring these concerns to you plastic surgeon to be sure. Continue massaging as it should help soften your scars.

Jaime Perez, MD
Breast Implant Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Harness under the scar is common early after surgery.

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It is too early to tell if you are forming a capsular contracture.  What is common is the feeling of uneven healing after breast surgery.  Patients often describe one side feeling different that the other during the first several months after surgery.  These differences tend to even out over time.

Hardness immedeiately beneath the scar is quite common and it can be felt on one or both sides.  Massage seems to help speed up the softening process.

Give it time and discuss your concerns with your surgeon. 

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

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Capsular contracture following augmentation

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While it is quite early postoperatively to develop a capsular contracture, I would continue with implant massage as you are doing at this time.  It sounds like typical scar formation at that area, for which massaging of the area should ameliorate over time.  This is, of course, you did not/do not have any bleeding/infection issue in the immediate postoperative period, which could account for the difference in appearance and feel of your breasts.  Certainly an evaluation of this by a plastic surgeon would be the only way to determine the cause.  Asking your surgeon his/her opinion on implant massage is advised as all surgeons have their own opinions regarding this.  I typically recommend starting implant displacement exercises within a few weeks of the procedure.  Also, massage of the actual scar has been proven to improve the appearance of scars as well as decrease the amount of scarring in that area.  Thank you for the question!  Hope that these answers help!

Capsular Contracture or Incisional Scar Tissue?

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Thank you for your question.  To answer this question adequately, a physical exam is required.  I would recommend you follow up with your plastic surgeon for an exam.  Statistically, it is more common to have incisional scar tissue formation compared to a capsular contracture this early in the healing process.  However, it is possible to develop an early capsular contracture.  Before starting a treatment plan, such as increased breast massaging, it is important to determine the cause.  Your plastic surgeon will be able to best answer your question and would likely want to see you soon.  I hope this helps.  Best wishes!  William J. Vinyard, MD--Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon

Capsular contracture at 4 weeks?

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It is unlikely you have a capsular contracture at 4 weeks.  Without knowing exactly what was done, it is best to ask your surgeon what he recommends.

Hard area by your scar

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It sounds like one of two things:  it might simply be the natural formation of a little scar tissue, right in the area of your incision.  Keep on massaging the scar.  However, if that whole side is not moving well, however, it could be an early capsule formation - it is possible to see them even in the first month.  Did you have any bleeding or infection issues?  Check with your surgeon - you may require treatment.

Breast Augmentation and Capsular Contracture at 4 Weeks

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   In general, the diagnosis of capsular contracture may take longer to establish than 4 weeks.  Sometimes, the hard area under the scar is just scar.  If the capsule is hardening and developing contracture, it is fairly obvious.  Your plastic surgeon can determine this with an exam.  Massage is recommended by many plastic surgeons, but you should get the opinion of your plastic surgeon.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Hughesplasticsurgery Los Angeles, CA

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.