One Breast Harder After Breast Implants

I got breast implants 12 years ago. I've just noticed that the left side is a lot harder all of a sudden. Is that normal, or should I be worried?

Doctor Answers 7

See your surgeon

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Most likely, you have developed some capsular contracture after your breast augmentation. I would see your surgeon to have the situation properly evaluated. Contracture usually happens gradually.

Orange Plastic Surgeon

You probably have encapsulation but it is not a health hazard

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Visit with a board-certified plastic surgeon. He/she can tell you whether, indeed, you have cap[sular contracture. Most importantly, one needs to make sure that there is not a breast lump or other breast process causing the hardness. Your doctor may recommend a mammogram, MRI, or ultrasound.

If it is a capsular contracture, we usually go on symptoms. If it is hard an painful, it may need surgery. If it is only moderately harder than the opposite side and you are not having symptoms, then it may not be worth going through surgery.

A face to face conversation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is your best course. Good luck!

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

You have a capsular contracture.

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Hi!  This is a cosmetic problem, which can become uncomfortable, and you may well want it corrected.  But it does not affect your health.

What happens is the normal internal lining around the implant contracts and makes the implant feel hard.  We don't always know why this happens.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Time to visit a plastic surgeon

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 Whether this happened suddenly, or gradually, this may be a capsular contracture around the implant.  You should visit your doctor or another and have it checked.  You will probably need surgery to improve this situation, just make sure to do both sides.

Really all of a sudden?

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Do you mean all of a sudden as in over a few hours or a few days? While it would be unusual for a capsular contracture to occur spontaneously after 12 years, it can happen, particularly after a flu-like syndrome or pregnancy. Capsular tears can occur that causes a hematoma that would feel hard, possibly painful and enlargement of the breast. You should see a plastic surgeon if this seems to be the case.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Don't fret --- see a qualified physician

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It is now time for you to see your plastic surgeon - or a new one if you have moved. There is no reason to worry , but you may have  a capsule and need another surgery to correct it.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Late capsule contracture can be sign of implant wear

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After 12 years we can expect implants to wear and leakage can occur. In the case of a gel implant t tightening of the capsule may be the first sign that the implant has worn. The process can be a gradual one and can go unnoticed until the implant is quite firm.

This is a good time to seek out a good plastic surgeon. If your original surgeon is still in practice all the better. Your records may still be available to determine what size and style of implant you are currently wearing, though this may be an opportunity for a change as well.

Be sure to have the firmness in your breast looked into. Unfortunately implants don't last forever.

Best of luck,


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