Skip to main content

August 16, 2012 | Breast Augmentation, Scarring

Capsular Contractures? What is it? How do you know you have one? What causes a capsular contracture? And what are my options to treat a capsular contracture?


Many women have thought about getting a breast augmentation before. This procedure is usually done quickly without trouble and the results come out spectacularly. However, not many women know the risk that come with placing foreign objects into your body. Although the breast implants used in the United States are FDA approved some complications can arise due to your body’s reaction to something it does not recognize. In the case of breast implants this complication is called a capsular contracture.

A capsular contracture is an abnormal response of the immune system to a foreign object in the body, i.e. implants. A sort of scar tissue forms around the foreign object and tightens and squeezes the implants causing them to look deformed an out of place.female patient's abnormal breast shape

Capsular contractures come in four different grades. The first grade of capsular contracture leaves your breast normally soft and appears natural looking. The second grade leaves the implant feeling a little firm and appears somewhat distorted. The third grade of capsular contracture presents with a firm breast and a distorted appearance. The Fourth and final grade leaves you with a hard implant and a distorted and out of place appearance.

The causes of capsular contracture are difficult to pin point but there are several things that can cause a capsular contracture and there are also steps you can take to prevent them although none of them are guaranteed to work. One of the more likely causes of a capsular contracture is placing the implant above the muscle as opposed to placing it under the muscle. By placing the implant under the muscle you could greatly reduce your chances of getting a capsular contracture. Another cause for capsular contracture is infection. This cause can be reduced by minimizing the handling of the implant prior to insertion. Other causes include seromas and hematomas which can cause inflammatory reactions and lead to capsular contractures.

There are few option for treating a capsular contracture, two of the most common being a closed or open capsulectomy. With a closed capsulectomy is when the doctor squeezes the breast to try and “pop” open the capsule. This is practice has been discouraged due to possible implant rupture, poor efficacy, the reforming of the capsule and patient pain. An open capsulectomy is a surgical procedure in which an incision is made to remove the capsule and the replace the implant if necessary.

Although you may have taken every precaution known to man to prevent a capsular contraction this is still a possible reaction to breast augmentation. Fortunately with the guidance of a board certified plastic surgeons, such as the ones at PREMIERE Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Tampa/Coral Gables, you can minimize your chances of getting a capsular contracture after a breast augmentation. If you already have a capsular contracture and are not sure what to do about schedule a complimentary consultation with PREMIERE Center today to discuss your treatment options!

Learn About 0% Financing

About Financing

Check Out Our Specials

Go To Specials