Breast Augmentation; How does capsular contraction happen and what can you do to prevent it from occurring?

I'm one month out from a mommy make over and I fear getting capsular contraction.

Doctor Answers 4

Things that may help prevent capsular contraction

The main known reasons for capsular contraction  are related to low grade bacteria  around the implant and bleeding.  Patients  who have contraction form previous implants are prone to have it again, as are patients with previous breast radiation. I suggest you discuss with your surgeon the use of a Keller funnel, which is a device that allows for placement of the implant into the breast pocket  without touching surrounding skin. Also placement of the implant below the pectoral muscle  is know  to decrease  scar tissue formation.  Breast massage is considered  old fashioned these days, but I still recommend it to my patients. If  contraction seems to be setting in , there are also oral medications  that can help. 
Best regards, 

Prashant Soni M.D.

Danbury Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

The Possible Causes of Capsular Contraction & Preventing It

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. The #reason capsular contraction happen is unclear. It's possibly caused by microscopic bacteria on the implant, a   collection of blood after surgery or perhaps it is a tendency for some women to form scar tissue. What we do know is that is cases reported have decreased from 25% to  5-10% or less. One way to attempt the prevention of it is to follow your surgeon's post op instructions as recommended and ask questions of your surgeon when healing concerns arise.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Capsular contracture

The most common theory for developing  capsular contracture is related to a low level bacterial infection leading to what is called biofilm causing the local tissues to react to  it.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Info about capsular contracture

Unfortunately we don't know everything that causes capsular contracture. Usually your body makes a scar around the implant (the capsule) which is soft and you can't see it or feel it. If it gets "bad scar tissue", then the breast can get hard and look like a ball on your chest. It can even hurt.We do know that bleeding and infection can cause capsular contracture so we always do a lot to avoid those risks. Bleeding is most often caused by lifting something too heavy (over 5 lbs) in the first couple weeks after surgery. It can require going back to the OR to stop the bleeding and remove the blood. Infection is rare but difficult to treat with implants in place. We do know that putting the implant under the muscle decreases the risk of capsular contracture as well.Best wishes!

K. Roxanne Grawe, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

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.