Capsular Contracture – an FAQ

Here’s everything you need to know about this potential breast augmentation risk.

What is capsular contracture?

In a nutshell, capsular contracture is a breast augmentation complication that develops when internal scar tissue forms a tight or constricting capsule around a breast implant, contracting it until it becomes misshapen and hard. While there have been many theories about why this occurs, the current line of thinking believes that it is the result of a minor infection.

Does capsular contracture hurt?

The breast may feel painful and stiff during capsular contraction. What’s more, the capsule may affect the appearance or shape of the breast, as the scar tissue can tighten or contract, restricts the movement of the implant.

Which type of implant is most at risk of capsular contracture?

Symptomatic capsular contracture rates are lower with saline implants than with silicone gel implants.

Is capsular contraction a sign that my implant has ruptured, or is wearing out?

Not at all. Symptoms of capsular contracture can often begin within months of breast augmentation surgery, and roughly 75 percent of capsules occur within the first two years following surgery.  But capsular contracture can occur at any time.

What are the odds of developing capsular contracture?

It occurs in about 5 percent of women who undergo breast augmentation with implants, but it’s nigh-impossible to predict whether it will occur until it actually does

What are the warning signs of capsular contracture?

Symptoms of capsular contracture can emerge slowly, and may first be noticed as a high-riding or misshapen breast. As the firmness increases, the breasts may feel tight and even painful, especially when you are lying on them. The breasts can appear very round, and visible rippling may also occur.

How can you treat capsule contracture?

The only treatment that guarantees the condition won’t return is the removal removal of the implants and surrounding scar tissue. The best advice we can give you is to have your surgeon release the scar tissue surgically.

For more information, please consult our capsular contraction page.

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