How Dangerous is Capsular Contraction?

I had saline implants put in 2 years ago. I'm not sure how many cc's, but I was a 34A & I'm now a 36C. They were placed under the muscle &the incisions are through my armpits. I have capsular contraction in my right breast and it sits way higher than the left. It's become painful but I can't afford another surgery. 1st, what is your advice & 2nd, what could happen? Is there anything I can do myself to manipulate it back into place or any medication that I could take? I massage it daily, no change.

Doctor Answers 7

Capsular contracture is not a health issue and is usually not painful.

Capsular contracture is not a health issue. Seldom does it cause any discomfort. Treatment is completely elective.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Capsular contracture

In and of itself, a capsular contracture is not dangerous, but is can cause pain and make the breast appear distorted.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Capsular contracture problem

A capsular contracture can distort the shape of your breast and occasionally be painful but it is not a health risk.  You can try massage or medication but neither has been effective treating an established capsular contracture.  Please see your plastic surgeon for possible solutions to this problem, best not to self-diagnose. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Capsular contracture

First understand that the problem is not that your implant is out of place, but rather the scar envelope around the implant has contracted , squeezing the implant. This make the implant seem hard, and tends to push it higher in the pocket. In the past I have used Vioxx and Vitamin E with mixed results. Currently I try singular and vitamin E, but it only works occasionally. Certainly give it a try, but if unsuccessful, the most reliable treatment is surgery to remove the scar, and I like to replace the implant, as I think bacteria on the implant play a role in contracture.

It is not dangerous, but can be uncomfortable.

Good luck.

Greg Sexton,M.D.

Columbia, S.C.

Gregory Sexton, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Capsular contracture

I have not had success with non surgical treatment of capsular contracture after 2 years. Especially with saline implants. Capsular release is usually effective. I would seek additional opinions and additional price quotes. . Although not the  " fault" of the surgeon, most will reduce fees for such an outcome.

Glenn Lyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Capsular contracture problems

Capsular contracture (CC) is a known but poorly understood phenomenon. We have a whole bunch of theories of why it occurs (inflammation is the leading candidate) but no uniformly accepted treatment which prevents recurrence. Leukotriene receptor inhibitors are a promising treatment when combined with Vitamin E. It is strictly off label. My preference is Singulair over Accolate; less liver problems, but neither is cleared for CC by the FDA. It usually works. But works best early.  I doubt that massage alone will work. I hate to bring it up but, CC is a convenient diagnosis and probably correct, but you should rule out other causes of hardness and pain.  Most of us plastic surgeons will take care of our complications at a reduced rate. I can't speak for your's but it doesn't hurt to ask. Usually CC will persist if not treated, some times it changes. But I can't think of too many situations where it can seriously hurt you, but I can think of a few! Don't ignore it.

Peter D. Geldner, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Capsule contracture

I don't think that anything will really help two years after surgery. Perhaps you could try high dose vitamin E and Accolate. Accolate has a small but definite risk of causing fatal liver failure so if you go this route you need to be monitored with periodic bloodwork.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

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.