I had my implants done in 1983. The left breast is hard as a rock and very high.

My shoulder is hurting, and the burning in my back is unreal at times. ( Left upper part of my back), The doctor that did the surgery is no longer in pratice. Should I just have them removed ! ? Help Please advise !

Doctor Answers 12

Capsular contracture after breast augmentation


Thanks for posting your question. I am happy to try and help you. It is important to remember that a board certified plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment of your situation, and concerns.

Having said that, capsular contracture is a very unfortunate condition that may develop after breast augmentation surgery. The cause is an enigma and we have some suspicions that it may be caused by subclinical bacterial infection, or excessive bleeding during or after surgery. The treatment is also complicated and some PS will through the kitchen sink at it trying to make it go away. Some times it works, other times it does not. Ultrasound, asthma medications, reoperating, scar tissue removal, changing to a different breast pocket, breast implant exchange and even implant removal have been suggested to treat it. The other problem is that it may go away after all of these heroic efforts only to have it return. In other cases, one of these may work and it does not come back. It is a tough problem.

It may be time for a secondary surgery.

Best wishes,

Dr. Michael J. Brown
Northern Virginia Plastic Surgeon

Capsular Contracture

Thank you for your question.   Your symptoms are those of capsular contracture.   This is often due to rupture of the implant.    I would recommend removal of your implants with the surrounding scar tissue.     You can choose to have your implants replaced or your breast lifted if indicated.   However, I would not recommend a lift with replacement in your case due to a higher risk of damage to your nipple blood supply.    All the best.

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Capsular contracture

Hi, psthomas.  Sorry to hear that you are experiencing pain.  Based on your description, you seem to have capsular contracture.  Whether to have implant exchange with capsulectomy or implant removal is your personal choice.  Please consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to learn about your options. Best regards.

Breast Implants - Old implants causing pain

It sounds like you have a capsular contracture that is severe. if they are causing you that much discomfort then I recommend removing them. Your surgeon can remove the old implant and capsule of scar tissue that is causing discomfort. It is also possible that you have a leak that is causing this contracture. I would suggest seeing a plastic surgeon for a consultation. 

#PlasticSurgery #BreastAug #Implants #implantexplant 

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

1983 Implants

It sounds as if you have do have capsular contracture and your implant has a high risk that it may be leaking or ruptured. It is recommended to have the implants removed and the capsule or scar tissue removed as well. You may choose to have them replaced at the same time or wait until a later time to have implants put back in. If the implants are above your muscle you may opt to place them under your muscle to help prevent capsule contracture occurring again. It is best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options. Best of luck !

Lawrence J. Chase, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast Augmentation

You definitely sound like you have a Gr IV capsular contracture and it is likely that your implant is ruptured.  I highly recommend you get evaluated for removal (and replacement if that is what you choose).  Your pain should resolve as that scar tissue is constricting and irritating your nerves and muscles.  You will feel so much better.  Its definitely time to take action.  Also make sure you get clearance from your primary care doctor for surgery and there isn't anything else going on in addition to your breast situation. Good luck to you!

Sounds like capsular contracture

Sounds like you have Grade IV capsular contracture. You can have the scar tissue removed and choose to put new implants or remove the implant altogether. Seek a consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to get a better idea about the result with or without a replacement device. Best of luck.

Breast implant question

Thank you for your question. It sounds like you may have developed scar tissue around your left implant. Schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can examine you. They may get some imaging tests to  check whether or not your implants ruptured. You can have your implants in the scar tissue removed. It is up to you whether or not you decide to have implants replaced at that time. Good luck.

Breast implant pain

I'm very sorry to hear about your discomfort and problems you are having. It's a large quality of life issue to live with those issues. It sounds like you have grade 4 capsular contraction (and most likely rupture) The best strategy is to make sure your breasts are ok with a mammogram or mri. Then seek a bc plastic surgeon who can help you smoothly through the process of likely removing or exchanging them. Best wishes

Capsular contracture

Sorry to hear about your breast pain.  It sounds like you have a Grade 4 capsular contracture which means the breast is hard, deformed, and symptomatic (painful).  If you have silicone implants, there is also a high probability that they have leaked.  As far as what to do, that is something that needs to be discussed in detail with a board-certified PS that does a lot of breast surgery.  Before deciding to have them totally removed, be sure to look at photos of women that have had them removed.  You may not like what you see.  If you remove them, your breasts will not go back to looking like what they did before you ever had implants.  You will likely have a sunken area in the upper breasts because the ribs have remodeled to accommodate the implants.  Most women in your position opt to have the implants exchanged and the scar tissue capsule around the implants removed (capsulectomy) in order to start with a new "pocket".

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.