What is the best way to tell if your capsule is normal and thin after breast augmentation?

I am getting ready to remove my saline implants 5 months after having them put in. I was a 30aa (barely) prior to implants. Planning to leave capsule in assuming it is normal and thin. How can I be sure it is thin and okay to leave in prior to surgery?

Doctor Answers 5

How do I know if my capsule is thick or thin?

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you have heard the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Similar principle applies here. If you are not symptomatic of a hard or stiff capsule, it would be extremelu unlikely for your surgeon to open you up and find a very pathologic, thickened capsule. Presumably you know your body best and would know if something was wrong or has changed over time. 

Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Do I have a normal capsule?

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Thank you for your question.  If your breasts feel soft and not tight and if the implants move freely and are not high-riding, then you can be pretty sure that you don't have a capsular contracture or thick capsule.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast implant capsule qualities, and how to tell

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Hi smalloverbig

You ask an interesting question that can't be fully answered until time of surgery.

It would be helpful to know more about your history and reasons to have your prostheses explanted.

However, that said, it is safe to say that the softer the breasts are, the thinner the capsules.  The converse is generally true.  The actual condition of the capsule can only be determined on intraoperative examination.  I have seen capsules fairly thin to about a quarter inch thick with calcium deposits on it.

Depending on your reasons for having the implants removed, it may be perfectly fine to just remove the implants and leave the capsules, with expectation that your problems will be treated.  On the other hand, a thick capsule with calcium deposits that shrink down (contract) after the implants are removed, are likely to continue to cause problems if they are not removed.

Hope this vague and qualified answer helps, fellow Texan.

All the best.


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What is the best way to tell if your capsule is normal and thin after breast augmentation?

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 Thank you for the good question.  Generally speaking,  if the breasts and the underlying  breast implants feel soft (to deep palpation) and the breast implants seem to move freely (not fixed for firm), then it is very likely that the capsules are thin/normal. 

 Some general thoughts regarding this issue may be helpful to you: generally speaking (in my opinion), unless the breast implant capsules have thickened (and/or are otherwise symptomatic),  are associated with the ruptured silicone gel breast implants, or if the patient has concerns about "medical conditions" related to the breast implants, capsulectomy is not universally necessary.  For these patients, en block removal of breast implants is a good procedure.

On the contrary, capsulectomy can expose you to additional risks, such as bleeding and minimal size loss.  In other words, any maneuver performed during surgery exposes patients to additional risk (morbidity).

 Recently I have  become more aware of the fact that there are plastic surgeons who, instead of using good judgment and individualized patient care, are causing fear and unnecessary anxiety among patients. These patients them feel that complete capsulectomy  is always necessary and undergo unnecessary surgery  associated with additional morbidity and unnecessary expenses.

 I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

What is the best way to tell if your capsule is normal and thin after breast augmentation?

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Thank you for your question.  If you have a normal thin capsule around your breast implant the implants should move freely when you gently massage them. If your implants are soft and freely movable then you have a very minimal capsule.

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.