Modern breast implants are very safe and effective for enhancing the size and shape of the breasts. Although rare, women may experience unforeseen complications after getting implants. One of the most common is capsular contracture.
What is Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture is a condition that develops due to scar tissue around your breast implant. The condition is diagnosed in patients with any type of implant, so it is not limited to breast augmentation. Scar tissue is a strong connective tissue, and some level of scar tissue is expected after breast augmentation. Capsular contracture describes a condition in which the scar tissue starts to place pressure on the breast implants.
How Common is Capsular Contracture?
Studies have shown that approximately one in ten women develop capsular contracture after breast augmentation with implants. Researchers are looking at ways to reduce the incidence, perhaps through new breast implant designs and advanced surgical techniques. The challenge is that capsular contracture is more dependent on the individual woman’s body and immune response rather than any external factors.
What are the Early Signs of Capsular Contracture?
The earliest signs of capsular contracture tend to be asymmetry, tight or firm sensation in the breasts, and discomfort. Scar tissue takes time to develop around the implant, so you may notice a slow progression of:
- Breasts that seem higher or rounder than expected
- Abnormal breast shape
- Pain the one or both breasts
- Tightness and firmness
What Does Capsular Contracture Feel Like?
Capsular contracture doesn’t always produce visible changes to the breasts, so it’s important that you perform a self-examination of your implants and note any symptoms. Namely, watch for pain in your breasts, as well as any areas that feel especially firm or tight. If you find any changes to your breasts, schedule an appointment with Dr. MaDan or Dr. Hueneke for an examination.
Can Capsular Contracture Go Away by Itself?
Because capsular contracture is the result of excessive scar tissue around the implants, it does not go away on its own. Your symptoms may plateau or continue to worsen. The risk of capsular contracture is that the breast implant may rupture or leak.
How Do You Get Rid of Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture is treated with surgery. The scar tissue is removed, and the implants may need to be replaced. New implants are placed in a way that reduces the likelihood of recurrence, such as placing the implant under the chest muscle. Dr. MaDan and Dr. Hueneke may also recommend a different style or size of implant.
What are the Long-Term Implications of Capsular Contracture?
After the scar tissue is removed, there are no long-term implications of capsular contracture. Without surgery, though, you may experienced worsening symptoms, or the implant may rupture.
Learn More About Capsular Contracture
If you would like to learn more about capsular contracture or are experiencing symptoms after your breast augmentation, contact Plastic Surgery Affiliates to schedule an appointment with Dr. MaDan or Dr. Hueneke. After a thorough examination, they can diagnose capsular contracture and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.