How do you know you have a capsular contracture? (photos)

I had breast augmentation 4/29/14, my rt breast is perfect and soft but my left breast is firm and feels weird. More like a ballon when trying to massage. I emailed and spoke with some at my doctors office but was told keep massage here I am 9months later being told this? Out of state patient in Ny and the doctor is in Miami. Laying down feels like a ball almost & not the soft implant like on my RT breast. I also look smaller. My right breast seems lower. Starting to feel upset with my results.

Doctor Answers 14

Do you have CC?

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Capsular Contracture is a condition in which the capsule surrounding the implant thickens and contracts, squeezing the implant making it overly firm or hard and often changing the shape and position of the implant. As the capsule contracts it moves the implant further up your chest wall making upper portion of your breast too large and unshapely. It is more far more common in nicotine users (e.g. smoking, vaping or nicotine gum or patches)

You should consult with your surgeon for an in person examination to see if you have CC and then move towards thinking about the treatment options you have available 

Capsular Contracture

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Capsular contracture is classified by severity as nicely stated by Dr. Schwartz below.  Typically, the breast appears firm and possibly painful. Typically the implant is displaced upwards as appears to be the case in your situation and the lower pole of the breast appears tight. It would be helpful to see you baseline before pictures, but based on your description it is very likely that you are experiencing a capsular contracture. You should be examined in person to be absolutely sure. I recommend revisiting your plastic surgeon or perhaps a second opinion to be examined. Typically, most of the implant manufacturers also have a warranty on the implants regarding capsular contracture. Depending on which implant manufacturer was used in your case, the warranty may cover a portion of the facility and anesthesia and/ or replacement of the implants entirely. Good luck. Hang in there!


Dr. Ravi Somayazula

Ravi Somayazula, DO
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Do I Have a Capsular Contracture After Breast Augmentation?

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  • Based upon your description, you may very well have developed a capsular contracture. 
  • I would definitely make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon to be evaluated, as this won't improve on its own. 
  • Thanks for sharing!

How do you know you have a capsular contracture?

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I appreciate your question.

Capsular contracture is when the collagen-fiber capsule tightens and squeezes the breast implant . It is a medical complication that can be painful and may distort the breast implant and the breast . The degree of capsular contraction is graded using the four grade Baker scale : grade I-IV:

  • Grade I — the breast is normally soft and appears natural in size and shape
  • Grade II — the breast is a little firm, but appears normal
  • Grade III — the breast is firm and appears abnormal
  • Grade IV — the breast is hard, painful to the touch, and appears abnormal

I would recommend that you contact your surgeon and ask if he/she can refer you to someone locally to help manage your post operative care.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

How do you know when you have capsular contracture?

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     Some of the signs of capsular contracture include a firmness in the one breast compared to the other, the implant being higher on the chest, and discomfort (feels weird).  Massage will not help this many weeks/months after surgery.  You will probably need a revision with the contracture addressed.  Good luck

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Is it capsular contracture?

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From your descriptions and photographs, it certainly appears like you  have capsular contracture. I would suggest that you see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your region who can provide you with options such as oral medications, ultrasound treatments, and we have had recent success with acoustic sound wave therapy called Z wave. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

How do you know you have a capsular contracture?

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From your excellent written description and the posted photo YES you have a cc.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

How do you know you have a capsular contracture?

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Thank you for sharing your story and pictures and I am sorry that you are having to deal with these issues.  Based on your narrative, it sounds as if you may be suffering with a capsular contracture.  Because only an in-person evaluation can diagnose this, best to see your surgeon, or a local ASPS board certified plastic surgeon, to help you through this process and offer treatment recommendations. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Capsular contracture

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Your pictures are highly suggestive of capsular contracture. If that is the case, massage is not going to make any significant difference and you are likely to need surgical treatment. If going back to Miami is not a viable solution, then you should look for a qualified surgeon near you and have an examination in person.

Ciro Adamo, PhD, MD
Italy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Do I have capsular contracture?

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Hello and thank you for your question.  Based on your history and symptoms, it is likely that you have a capsular contracture.  You should go see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination and recommendations for how to remedy this problem once it has been accurately assessed.

Sean Kelishadi, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 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.