Can I Get an Infection from an Encapsulated Implant?

I had breast augmentation 6 months in Colombia (because I was living there at the moment) I moved to the US and in April I went to a surgeon and was told that my right implant was encapsulated. I have contacted my surgeon in Colombia to see if I get get it replaced or removed or what my options are but I have had no response and I am very scared. Is it possible to get an infection from an encapsulated implant and will i have to get it replaced asap?! I'm in pain and the implant feels very strange

Doctor Answers 5

Capsular contracture, infection, and timing.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

What you are describing sounds like a capsular contracture. Infection in the postoperative period can lead to a significant capsular contracture. It is also possible to develop an implant infection after a contracture. Treatment for a high grade contracture typically involves removal of the capsule and replacement of the implant. If a true infection is present, capsule removal without replacment of the implant is warranted. Depending on the type of infection the replacement of the implant may be done anywhere from 3months to a year later. Unless you are exhibiting signs and symptoms of infection, the capsulectomy procedure can be done electively.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Can I Get an Infection from an Encapsulated Implant?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dear Crazy,

Thank you for your question.  Capsular contraction does not cause a breast infection.  The symptoms of capsular contraction are breast tightness, deformity and sometimes pain.  The treatment for this is opening or removal of the internal scar tissue.  I recommend doing this in the US if you live here as follow-up is necessary, and as you experienced, follow-up in a foreign country is less than ideal.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast infection can lead to capsular contracture but the reverse is not true.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most capsular contractures are idiopathic. They do not leak infection. There are some interesting theories about biofilms that may play a role in capsular contracture but for now they remain in the realm of theory.

You might also like...

Capsular contracture is not a health risk

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You will not get an infection from a capsular contracture only a malposition or firmness of the breast and implant.  It is not a health risk but will not get better on its own.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Can I Get an Infection from an Encapsulated Implant?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although some current theories about capsular contracture hold certain bacteria to be responsible, this is not the same as what most consider to be a clinical infection. 

Best bet, having failed at contacting your surgeon abroad, is to make an appointment to be evaluated near your home for advice. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.