Do you need to correct capsular contracture right away?

One breast is firmer and rides higher than the other one. If it is capsular contracture is it a medical emergency? I do not have the funds for this

Doctor Answers 17

No, capsular contracture isn’t an emergency.

Capsular contracture — the excessive scar tissue that can form around breast implants — may ultimately affect the look and feel of your breasts but it’s probably not an emergency. More severe capsular contracture may require treatment sooner, especially if you feel any physical discomfort. However, the firmness and difference in position of your breast could also be part of the healing process if you’ve had breast augmentation in the last 6 months. Breast implants can settle into the breast pocket at different rates over several months. That could explain the difference you are noticing.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Capsular contracture issues

Thank you for your question.  In short, no, capsular contracture is certainly not a medical emergency.  The only downside is that it can potentially get a little stiffer or tighter, but this does not cause any health issues to you.  

Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Capsular contracture

As my colleagues have noted, contracture is not considered an emergency, but the condition may progress over time, and may produce greater distortion of breast shape, as well as physical discomfort.  Oral medications, such as singulair, as well as massage, may produce some improvement, but neither are felt to be primary treatments for the condition, and they do not substitute for surgical treatment.   

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Capsular Contracture Correction

Typically, capsular contracture does not need to be corrected immediately. There are non-surgical options to potentially help with contracture including massaging techniques and singular. You should consult with your surgeon for more information regarding the severity of your capsule and options for correction.  

Michael E. Ciaravino, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Capsular contracture

A capsular contracture is not a medical emergency but it is better to treat sooner than later. It can become painful.

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

Breast augmentation - must capsular contracture be immediately corrected?

Thank you for asking about your breast augmentation and capsular contracture.
  • No - capsular contracture correction is not a medical necessity unless -
  • It causes you pain or if there is fluid forming in the contracture making the breast larger than the other.
  • Sometimes medicine (Singular) can reduce a contracture - 
  • See your plastic surgeon, consider taking the medicine and start to save money for a possible, future correction.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Correcting capsular contracture

Hello Marie and thank you for your question.
What you describe in your question sounds like it has the potential to be a capsular contracture. You may notice your breast is not as soft as it once was. Your breast may begin to harden and the physical appearance of the affected breast will change. You will also feel discomfort from the tightening of the capsule. If any of these symptoms persist it is recommended that you visit your plastic surgeon for him diagnose and possibly correct the situation. It is not a medical emergency. Your plastic surgeon will be able to tell you if it needs to be treated immediately or if it can wait. Massaging the affected area may help, although it will mostly attempt to relax those muscles in the chest and reduce any swelling.  
Best wishes

Traci Temmen, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Do you need to correct capsular contracture right away?

Capsular contracture is not a medical emergency but if you have a Baker 3 or 4 it should be treatedwithout long delay. See your surgeon and ask if Singulair 10 mg a day for 90 days may help

Capsular contracture

I think your first step should be an in-person examination with your operating surgeon.  He or she needs to see you to get an idea of where you are at this point in time to best counsel you.  While surgery is usually indicated for this condition, there is some evidence that certain medications (Singulair) can slow or even reverse early capsular contracture.  Discuss this with your surgeon.
Best of luck! Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Usually not an emergency!

Capsular contracture is a known complication of breast augmentation surgery.  The capsule may form immediately or may take years to develop.  It may form in one breast as well as in both breasts. Capsular contracture typically causes your breast to become hard and sometimes distorted.  Sometimes the firmness of your breast can be so uncomfortable as to not permit you to sleep on your abdomen.  However, if you can live with this discomfort - it is not an emergency. There are different grades of firmness - and I would encourage you to see your plastic surgeon, for a consultation and recommendation.  There is one point that has not been discussed - and that is the type of implant you have.  If you have a contracture with silicone implants, I would make sure the implant is not ruptured.  In the new generation of silicone implants (after 2006 (or so)) rupture is rare.  However, if you have an older generation silicone implant, the implant might have ruptured.  Your plastic surgeon can advise you the best route to go in the diagnosis of your "capsular contracture."  Best of luck.

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.