Capsular contracture is a discomforting and painful situation that occurs when the collagen-fiber capsule narrows and shrinks, compressing and squeezing the breast implant, and collapses it. This medical complication may create intense discomfort and pain in the area. It also may damage the aesthetical look of the breasts.

What Are The Early Signs Of Capsular Contracture?

There are a number of signs that indicate a possible capsular contracture in early diagnosis. The most common of these are; feeling tightness in the breasts, asymmetry, firmness, misshapen look in the breasts, excess and intense pain in the area. It is very important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you have experienced one of these situations.

 How to get rid of capsular contracture?

Although there are some alternatives, the most effective and healthy way of treating capsular contracture is a surgical operation. An operation called breast implant revision surgery is carried out to treat the complication, and this surgical may include various techniques and steps according to the specific situation. While sometimes it might be necessary to remove the whole scar tissue capsule, along with the implant, it also might be possible to only remove the implant and leave the scar tissue capsule in place. 

What causes capsular contracture?

Capsular contracture occurs when the body of the patient completely refuses the foreign substance, which is called an excessive fibrotic reaction to a foreign body. The possibility of the occurrence of this situation is around ten percent and although it may be very painful and discomfort, it is rather easy to treat without any permanent damage to the body.

What does capsular contracture pain feel like?

The most common early signs of capsular contracture may include a tight sensation, and pain in the inside of the breast. The feeling of capsular contracture pain is like the breast is being squeezed from the inside very hard, and when the condition worsens, the pain starts to spread to the whole breast.

How soon does capsular contracture happen?

Capsular contracture is a complication that is most likely to occur in the late stages of the recovery, most commonly four to six weeks after the surgery. And the risk of occurrence of capsular contracture decreases over time. After six months, there is almost no risk of occurrence of the complication, unless an external impact or trauma occurs. 

Does exercise cause capsular contracture?

Participating in activities that require physical involvement is a common cause of occurrence of capsular structure in the recovery period, and shortly after the recovery. It is important to protect the breasts from any possible damage, especially for the first six months after the surgery, which is why most surgeons or medical professionals suggest avoiding doing exercises for a period of time after the surgery. 

How do you avoid capsular contracture?

Although completely preventing capsular contracture is impossible for some patients, there are a number of ways to lower the risk of occurrence of capsular contracture. These are:

  • Choosing the ideal size of implant for the patient.
  • Choosing textured gel implants.
  • Massaging.
  • Placing the implant under the tissue/muscle.
  • Minimal implant handling.
  • Patient screening and examination.

What happens if you leave capsular contracture?

Actually, there is nothing that is dangerous about leaving the breast capsular contracture, other than the feeling of intense tightness and pain. The feeling of discomfort may continue as long as the complication is not treated, while sometimes it stops a while after the occurrence. But the feeling of hardness and tightness inside the breast is likely to remain unless you don’t have it treated.

How do you test for capsular contracture?

Most of the time, a medical specialist can identify the capsular contracture occurrence by a physical examination. In some other cases where the diagnosis of the complication can not be made by a physical examination, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanning delivers the most certain and the most reliable results.

Is capsular contracture an emergency?

The capsular contracture is not a threat to health by any means in short term, which means it does not pose any risk for your body. It definitely does not cause any infection, cancer, or disease that comes to your mind. But it might be very exhausting to cope with the pain and the discomfort for a long period of time, indirectly calling forth for a disease or complication caused by tiredness, or lassitude.

Does Vitamin E help with capsular contracture?

It is not known if the use of vitamin E helps to get better after capsular contracture occurs, but it is a safe and easy way of reducing the risk of occurrence of capsular contracture beforehand. You can consume a recommended amount of vitamin E to increase the safety rate after the surgery.

Can you get capsular contracture twice?

The simple answer to this question is, yes, you can get capsular contracture twice. When you get capsular contracture removed, and directly go for a breast implant replacement, it is most likely to happen again. This is because you don’t remove the cause when removing the damaged implants, so the cause stays there, which means it will repeat as long as it is not treated. The rate of reoccurrence of capsular contracture may be as high as seventy percent. 

Can capsular contracture happen at any time?

While capsular contracture is possible to happen anytime after the surgery, as early as four weeks and as late as seven or eight years, the main density of possibility of occurrence is at four to six weeks, and it decreases and almost gets zeroed around after two years. But as mentioned before, an external impact or trauma may trigger this complication even ten years after the surgery.

Why do implants get hard?

When capsular contracture occurs, the inner substance, saline or silicone gel, is resorbed, leaving only the shell, the hard outer layer of the implant. This results in a feeling of hardness in the breast. Because the saline gel is basically a shell filled with saltwater, the collapse of the saline implant is not as painful and risky, but implants filled with silicone gel are likely to cause more pain when capsular contracture occurs.

Can a mammogram detect capsular contracture?

A mammogram is not a directly used procedure when trying to diagnose a possible occurrence of capsular contracture, but if you have experienced capsular contracture, it can be noticed because the scar tissue may crack because of the pressure applied during a mammogram, causing a difference in feeling and the look of the breasts. Also, it may create an obvious asymmetry in breasts, because capsular contracture is likely to occur in only one breast at once. 

What happens if you don’t replace breast implants?

Since the breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, they may need to be replaced after a time period, usually as long as ten to fifteen years. If the implants aren’t removed after their time of use is expired, it may cause a number of complications. These are feeling hardness in the breasts, deformation in the shape and look of the breasts, asymmetry, and capsular contracture. But this is not the same for every individual case. In fact, there is a high possibility of breast implants being healthy and ‘’in run’’ ten, or even fifteen years after the surgery. In this case, there is no necessity of removing or replacing the breast implants.