Capsular Contracture after Breast Augmentation

September 9, 2019

At Dr. Horowitz’s practice in Newport Beach, breast augmentation is the most popular procedure among his patients and he has helped many happy patients develop those shapely curves they’ve always wanted.

As with any surgery there is always a small potential for complications that can occur post-surgically. One of the rare but significant complications is Capsular Contracture. As part of the normal breast augmentation healing process, the body forms a capsule, or tissue lining around the breast implants. Normally, this lining is flexible, soft and barely noticeable by touch or appearance. In a small percentage of patients, this capsule hardens and contracts around the implant – this is called “capsular contracture.” When this happens, the breast can look and feel unnaturally round and hard or higher than the other breast. In some cases, the condition can be painful.

There are many theories as to why this capsular contracture occurs. The most likely contributing factors are:

  1. Low grade infection (usually without other signs of infection such as fever, drainage or redness)
  2. Hematoma (bleeding after surgery around the implant). Occasionally, however, patients who’ve had prior breast augmentation or have not experience a condition called capsular contracture.

Breast Implant Revision Surgery

For many patients, breast revision surgery will yield the best results. During a procedure to correct capsular contracture, a surgeon will take out the old breast implants, remove the hardened scar tissue, or “capsules,” and place new implants. As such, revision surgery is usually the better option for women who wish to change their implant size or type at the same time, as well as those who have more advanced cases of capsular contracture.

If you have questions or suspect you may have capsular contracture, we encourage you to contact us. This is not a condition you should live with, and Dr. Horowitz or one of our other expert board-certified plastic surgeons will help you understand your treatment options during a consultation.

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