Is their a danger in having a breast with capsular contracture for many years ?

Some of us never heard of these breast problems until we got on this sight . What are the harmful effects if having CC for many years without realizing it ? Does it get worse ?

Doctor Answers 6

Cap Con Danger

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In theory no there is no danger and I have let many people continue with their, as long as there is no pain or change in breast shape at that point I would organize an MRI to evaluate the breast implant itself

Capsule contracture for many years

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There is no inherent danger to a patient in having a capsule contracture for many years.   If the capsule is minimal grade 1 or even grade 2 and bilateral it often does not bother the patient and at times works to give the breasts a perky appearance.   If a capsule tightens and thickens to grade 3 or 4 then appearance and pain can be significant.   If one side is very firm and the other side is normal this causes symmetry problems and appearance issues.    So the answer is that a long term capsule is not dangerous but if firm and hard can be painful and generate appearance issues.    My Best,  Dr C

Is their a danger in having a breast with capsular contracture for many years ?

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It is normal to have a capsule of scar tissue develop around your implants.  It occurs in 100% of breast augmentations.  When the capsule becomes thick or tight it is referred to as "capsular contracture".  It is harmless although it may be uncomfortable and gives an unnatural feel (and often times and unnatural  shape) to the beasts.  Although it usually requires surgery to correct a contracture, these procedures are often times successful.

Dangers of capusular contracture

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Thank you for your breast implant question.
  • There is no danger to a capsular contracture.
  • it is tightening of the normal layer of scar between your implant and your own tissues.
  • Many women in their 80s got old style gel implants in the 1970s and have had capsulare contracture for decades with no ill effects except very hard breasts.
  • Capsules make the breast firm and some change the breast shape or become painful. 
  • They arise, we believe, from irritation of tissues around the implant.
  • If you have a capsule and it does not bother you - it needs no treatment.
  • Capsules can arise from ruptured implants. Modern gel implants are probably ok to leave in place if ruptured- old gel implants have very soft gel which can be spread into tissues by mammogram pressure and believe they must be removed.
  • See your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon yearly for a check and discuss if and when an MRI makes sense for you. Best wishes.

Capsular contracture issues

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Capsular contractures do not cause any health problems, but when they progress they can lead to implant firmness, shape distortion, and discomfort. Often, a capsular contracture can be an indication that an implant has ruptured. And most surgeons would suggest removal of a ruptured implant. But it is not 100% necessary if the implants are not bothersome to you. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Dangers of capsular contracture

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No there are not any real "dangers" of capsule contractures. But if your breasts are hard, mis-shapen or painful, there is something that can be done about it. Also, frequently a contracture around old gel implants can signal that the implant has broken, which, in my opinion should probably be removed or replaced.

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.