Capsular contracture. Could it be anything else? Can I just leave it?

I am 10 months post op with 360 silicone over the muscle. Left breast went hard after 3 months surgeon finally agreed to replace 6 weeks ago. Currently no issues. My right breast has literally gone hard over the last couple of weeks , I am out of my safety net period now and wondering why this is happening and could it be anything else. Can I just leave it. Not in a position to replace financially. Currently it looks no different but have started getting shooting pains

Doctor Answers 6


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Although capsular contractures following breast augmentation can occur just about any time, most women start having symptoms around three months after their breast implant surgery. This is because it takes some time for a capsule to form and then to scar down (contracture).
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).

Capsular contracture

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Thank you for your question. Capsular contracture can reoccur after a capsulectomy. You chance of recurrence is around 22%. Having the Impants placed above the muscle also increases your risk. We still have no hard evidence as to why it occurs. If you have Mentor or Sientra implants , you may want to look into their warranty against capsular contracture. Unfortunately Allergan does not offer that same warranty. Best of luck with your recovery. 

Johnny Shea-Yuan Chung, MD, FACS
Allentown Plastic Surgeon

Capsule contracture

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Dear Sam,
   Front and side view pictures would have been very helpful.
 Capsule contracture occurs naturally up to one year, when scar maturity takes place. That is the reason why I instruct all my breasts augmentation patients to perform implants displacement massage. 
 However, capsule contracture can occur also from bleeding or infection. Sub clinical infection from dental work, colonoscopy etc can happen too, creating biofilm.
 When the capsule contracture is thin , only capsulotomy (scar release ) is required. When the capsule is thick and inflamed, capsulectomy ( scar excision ) and implant replacement is required for best outcome. 
 In your situation, I would recommend implants displacement massage for 3-4 months and hopefully, it will resolve the hardening and pain.
 It is always a good idea to see your surgeon , whenever you have a problem.
                 All the best,
                                    Dr Widder

Capsular Contracture

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Sorry you are experiencing this.  We are still not sure what exactly causes capsular contracture.  Fortunately, at this time, there is no medical harm to your body. Most people have surgery to fix the cosmetic defect it may cause.  At it worst, it may cause pain.  If you're not at a position to have them operated on, it is okay to leave for now unless the pain gets worst.  Good luck.

Capsular contracture

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A capsular contracture can develop without a known cause.  There are several theories as to why they may occur.  Treatment usually means removing the old implant and capsule and placing a new implant.  Pain or implant distortion are usually the reasons that patients have them removed.  

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Capsular Contracture

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 Without in in person examination, the diagnosis of capsular contracture cannot be made. The shooting pains that you have, may be related to the surgery and be of nerve origin but not necessarily causative or related to capsular contracture. If you do have bilateral  Capsular Contracture this early in the postoperative phase, I would recommend you consider moving your implants to the sub muscular position and maybe using an aggressively textured implant surface. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 58 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.