My Breast Implant is Hard, and Hurts, What Does That Mean?

My Breast Implant is Hard, and Hurts, What Does That Mean?

Doctor Answers 5

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 r#ecommended 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.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Implants are Hard and Hurt

Dear Patient, 

If it is early after your surgery, your post operative discomfort and swelling may be normal. However, if it has been a while since you had your surgery, the hardness may be due to thickening of the capsule around the implant. Sometimes massage techniques can help for the hardness. I suggest that if the problem persists or worsens, you should consult with your surgeon.

Teanoosh Zadeh, MD, FRCSC
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Hard implant

A bit more of a history would be helpful. Just based upon what you wrote, it could be many different things but the most common one assuming that these are long standing implants is a capsular contracture.  If these are new implants and you are early post-op it could represent a hematoma. Either way you shuold see/speak to your surgeon.  If a hematoma then it is urgent.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast hard and hurts

You could have an infection, hematoma, seroma or contracture depending on how long it has been since your surgery and what other symptoms you have.  If your surgery was recent you should see your plastic surgeon really soon.  If it has been awhile (more than a few months) you likely have a capsular contracture around your implant that will be best treated with surgery.  You should still see your surgeon, but less urgently.  I have included a link to the discusion of capsular contractures on my website.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast hardness and pain

You haven't provided very much information as to how long ago you underwent a breast augmentation, whether there is redness along the suture line, fever, etc. You may have an infection or a capsular contracture but, without additional information, it would be impossible to appropriately evaluate your situation. I suggest that you contact your plastic surgeon and see him as soon as possible.

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.