Doctor Answers 3
About Capsular Contracture
One of the most common problems is breast capsular #contracture or the development of thickening, and contracture of the capsule that exists around the breast implants. Severe capsule contracture probably occurs in less than 15% of augmentation patients. Every woman has a breast capsule around their implant and this is a normal phenomenon. The capsule itself could be as thin as Saran Wrap but may also become calcified and thickened. As it thickens and shrinks, the patient may develop a feeling a firmness of the breasts and in its worst situation, the breast may become painful and abnormal in appearance, achieving a very round, hard, and uneven appearance. There may be distortion and possible breakage and leakage of an older implant, but may also include a newer #implant. Nicotine users, such as smokers, have up to a 30x increased risk of #capsular contracture.
Saline implants may deflate spontaneously. When the patient has significant #symptoms, complete or partial leakage of their saline implant, or concerns regarding silicone leakage, it is recommended that the implant is removed and exchanged. Frequently, this is performed on both sides depending upon the age of the implant. Capsulotomy or opening of the capsule may be required or frequently capsulectomy, which is removal of the scarred capsule, is recommended to ensure adequate pocket dimensions.
New implants may then be placed in the same existing position or may undergo a change of #placement frequently from submammary to subpectoral position and, on occasion, the other way around.
Thank you for your question and photos. If severe enough, there can be signs of capsular contracture that will be noted on photos. In these circumstances there is a dramatic difference between the breasts. From your photos, you appear to still have very good symmetry. In this situation, only be exam would one be able to determine if you have early capsular contracture. If you are worried, best to re-visit with your surgeon.
You don't look contracted on the photo but it's hard to tell from photos sometimes, and also with the way you are holding your arms. Conracture usually takes months to years to develop and the contracted breast will get more firm and usually raise up on the chest wall.
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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.