Can Daily Life Stress Be Another Cause of Capsular Contracture After Breast Augmentation?

It has only been a month since surgery (breast augmentation). And have been concerned of what causes capsular contracture. Can stress cause capsular contracture? And what are many ways to "PREVENT" capsular contracture? I have saline breast implants and smooth textured. And the implants are under the muscle. It will be greatly appreciated for all advise.

Doctor Answers 6

Stress does not cause capsular contracture.

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1)  Capsular contracture happens infrequently, and in most cases we don't know why.  It can happen right after surgery, or years later, but this is rare.  It can happen in only one breast.

2)  Capsular contracture can be very mild ( a little firmness ) or severe ( hard and painful ).  The severe kind is very very rare in our experience.  The mild kind often does not bother the patient.

3)  We know two things that cause capsular contracture, bacteria and even a little blood around the implant.  These can be prevented during surgery.  We use super sterile technique and antibiotics in the implant pockets and by vein. We make sure there is not even the tiniest amount of blood before putting in the implant.

4)  There is little that you can do after surgery to prevent capsular contracture.  I don't believe that massage helps.  An asthma medicine called Singulair may help ( please note that this is an off label use and that Singulair can have serious side effects).

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Life stress does not cause capsular contracture

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Known predisposing factors causing capsular contracture include, infection, fluid collection around the implant and contamination (bacterial or particulate)  of the implant. Known factors lessening the risk of capsular contracture include placement under muscle, textured implants, saline implants. Probably the greatest predictor that you will develop capsular contracture, is  a previous history of having had a capsular contracture in the past.  This likely is a major indicator of a hereditary component in the evolution of this condition. Now that you are 1 month after surgery, it is important to know that all that is known has already been done with regard to your capsular contracture risk.  Since medicine is not advanced sufficiently to alter our hereditary predispositions, it might be most productive to move forward without too much concern on this risk.

Chen Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Stress cannot cause capsular contracture

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There are several factors believed to contribute to capsular contracture, though daily life stress is not one of them. We do know that saline breast implants have a slightly lower risk of contracture, and also submuscular implants have a much lower rate. Other factors include bacterial contamination, or bleeding in the implant pocket, too late to worry about after one month augmentation.


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

Minimizing Capsular Contrature

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capsular contracture is a process that we have tried to minimize the occurrence of and prevent over the past 30 years. It appears that most of the causes can be minimized, although not totally eliminated during the operation. It is highly unlikely that any type of stress in the postoperative period will increase your chances of developing capsular contracture.

John E. Sherman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Capsular contracture

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The known causes of contracture have been well listed by the others. This said, the brain is definitely connected to the body in ways not well understood. Psychological factors may certainly play a role that we cannot explain. Stress certainly doesn't help, but it wouldn't help any more to now stress about the stress!

Neal Goldberg, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon

Prevention of capsular contracture takes place in the operating room

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Capsular contracture is complicated in that we know what it is and we know some of the causes but we still don't know how to prevent it from ever happening. Some steps to decrease the risk involve -sterile technique -gentle and careful dissection of the pocket -meticulous hemostasis -antibiotics including antibiotic irrigation -no touch technique in handling the implant Despite all that we know and do it still happens although the incidence is lower now then it has ever been. You either have smooth or textured implants but not both. I am not a fan of massage although some surgeons continue to recommend it. I am not sure if stress plays a role. There is some thought that an infection or bacteria traveling in your bloodstream may cause capsular contractures. If you are going to have any dental care, you may want to talk to your surgeon about prophylactic antibiotics.

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

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.