If I have developed Capsular Contracture is there a risk to delaying Breast Implant Revision?

I have developed capsular contracture in my left breast after 24 years. I do have some tightness but I'm not incredibly uncomfortable. I have decided I want them removed and replaced but my budget is a problem. I can have them removed for free (paid for by insurance) but replacement is going to cost me a little more than I can comfortably swing right now. Are there risks if I put this off for a year or so? Once capsular contracture is noticed, does it tend to progress quickly? slowly?

Doctor Answers 9

Capsular contracture

You probably have old broken implants.  The capsule has formed around the implant to wall it off.  Although there is no danger to wait a short period of time,  you might not want to wait a year.  There are many women with ruptured implants and capsules who wait years to get them fixed with no additional problems caused by waiting.  The risks of waiting are low.  It probably won't change what needs to be done or its complexity.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Time is not of the essence for capsular contracture surgical treatment.

There is no reason to worry about the timing of a reoperation for capsular contracture. It might even be advantageous to allow the capsule to mature is much as possible before the revision.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

OK to wait before revision for capsular contracture

There is not likely any adverse effect on your health by waiting to have the capsular contracture surgery. It is better to wait until you can do what needs to be done, which will include replacing the implants.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Waiting to replace implants after removal

Thanks for your question -

Anytime you're removing implants for any reason there is the chance that the implant pocket and soft tissue will contract.  This can make future implantation more challenging in terms of achieving ideal shape.

If the implants you originally had are relatively small the chances of this are less.

I hope this helps!

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Capsular contracture and implant removal

Removing the implants and capsule and not replacing them with new implants will result in retraction of the tissue that remains around the previous implant pocket. The final result is hard to predict, This depends upon the amount of tissue you have and the size of your previous implants.

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

Capsular contracture

Thank you for your question and in my judgement there is no problem in waiting a year before having surgery

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

If I have developed Capsular Contracture is there a risk to delaying Breast Implant Revision?

I am sorry to hear that you are having a problem with a capsular contracture.  If the implants have been in place for 24 years and you are planning a capsulotomy/capsulectomy surgery, you should definitely replace the old implants with new ones. If the implants you have are saline, there should be no problem in waiting a year.  If the implants are silicone gel filled, you should get an MRI scan (this should be covered by insurance) to determine if there is any silicone leakage.  If there is no leakage beyond the scar capsule, it should also be safe to wait a year before replacing the implants.   Best wishes, Dr Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

If I have developed Capsular Contracture is there a risk to delaying Breast Implant Revision?

Hi. As you may or may not know, capsule contractures are classified as Baker's class I,II,II and IV. If you present with a class II it does not necessarily mean that you will progress to a class IV. The process itself of CC is not harmful and there is no need to rush. However, with your implants in place 24 years you need to find out if they are silicone or saline. Silicone implants from years ago ( more than 20 years) had a very high failure rate. Therefore, the chances of having free silicone gel within or outside the capsule is very high. Today, an MRI of the breast is recommended to identified if indeed there has been a rupture. Because your implants have been in place for so long they need to be taken out (ruptured or not) and so the need for an MRI is not necessary. Good luck and always seek out the advice of a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

Jose Perez-Gurri, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 232 reviews

Late onset capsule formation

I don't think there is much risk in waiting a while. If you had gel implants it is likely that they have leaked and this is probably causing the capsule. (Saline would deflate of coarse) You will need to have the implants removed and the entire capsule as well. I would advise against trying a closed capsulotomy which used to be done in the past.
The other option would be to remove the implants now and replace them later.

Rodney A. Green, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 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.