Capsular Contracture? Woke Up With Swollen, Hard, Warm, Stiff Breasts? (photo)

I had mastopexy and breast augmentation. Can it be capsular contracture? If it is can I have a surgery as soon as possible or do I need to wait for the breast to settle? Would the replacement of the implant help? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 5

Is this Capsular Contracture

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It is impossible to tell what is going on from your photos. You also did not say how far out from the surgery that you are. If it has been recent, this may just be muscle spasm and will resolve. If you are more than 3 months out, you should probably see your surgeon for an evaluation.

The development of capsular contracture is insidious.

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Capsular contractures not occur overnight. The history you give is more consistent with an infection. Nevertheless you need to see your surgeon soon.

Capsular Contracture? Woke Up With Swollen, Hard, Warm, Stiff Breasts?

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I see some asymmetry, but cannot tell much else from the photos. I certainly could not say whether or not there is a capsular contracture. It looks like you have taken a photo in the mirror, so it probably is your right breast that looks higher. Since your arms are not at your sides, the asymmetry may be exaggerated in these photos. 

If the right implant is hard as compared with the left, this may well be a capsular contracture, in which case some of the nonoperative approaches might be considered before scheduling surgery. If CC is present, some (not all) surgeons would recommend switching implants. 

If both implants are equally soft, CC is unlikely, and surgery to even out the pockets could be done at any time. Pre-op photos might have helped with the diagnosis. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

See your surgeon

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Capsular contracture is when there is abnormal scarring around your implant, tightening it and causing the breast to feel firm. The breast may also look abnormally round or elevated. This can sometimes be treated without surgery, but if the problem persists, you may need surgery. I recommend you go back to your surgeon to have your breast checked out as soon as you can. Best of luck.

Capsular contracture?

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It is difficult to answer your question without a physical exam.  If your breast has gotten hard over time, it may be due to scar tissue that formed around the implant.  Capsular contracture is progressive.  Patients usually notice capsular contracture when the implants become hard.  It can also cause distortion of the implant as well as give pain.  You should see your plastic surgeon to see whether you would need implant exchange with capsulectomy.

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.