Capsular Contracture – Symptoms and Solutions

Capsular Contracture - Symptoms and SolutionsBreast augmentation improves breast volume, addresses asymmetry, and creates a rounder breast shape. NYC breast augmentation is performed using saline, silicone, and other types of FDA-approved implants. Like all cosmetic surgical procedures, breast implant surgery comes with risk of certain complications, including capsular contracture. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines capsular contracture as a “breast augmentation complication caused by tightening of the tissue capsule around the implant, resulting in firmness or hardening of the breast and squeezing of the implant if severe”.

When the implant is inserted, the body’s natural response is to form a lining or capsule around it. Capsular contraction occurs when the capsule contracts, which squeezes the implant, makes it firm, and changes its shape. This complication is most commonly seen in saline and silicone implants.

Capsular contracture can occur at any time, even years after the breast augmentation procedure. It can affect one or both breasts. Risk factors include:

  • Post-surgical complications like hematoma or infection
  • Severe breast trauma
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Radiation therapy
  • Inadequate skin coverage for the implant
  • Active smoking

Capsular contracture is graded based on severity as follows:

  • Grade 1: The breast is soft and looks normal, and the capsule is flexible
  • Grade 2: The breast looks normal, but is slightly firm
  • Grade 3: The breast is firm, has some distortion, or the implant is tilted upward with a slightly abnormal appearance
  • Grade 4: Similar to Grade 3 but with more capsular hardening, painful and a deformed appearance

Experienced plastic surgeons use special surgical techniques to reduce patients’ risk of capsular contracture. NYC plastic surgery practices offer IDEAL implants and gummy bear implants that have a lower capsular contracture rate and rupture rate than saline implants or silicone implants. The IDEAL implant is double-lumen implant with a baffle structure that is filled with saline after the implant has been placed in a submuscular or subglandular pocket. It uses cutting-edge breast implant technology reduce to wrinkling and folding. This implant also fits beautifully against the chest wall, creating a natural look and feel, without the complications associated with silicone gel. Cohesive gummy bear implants also have a firm and stable structure and a lower rate of capsular contracture.

Surgery is usually needed to treat severe conditions. Capsular contracture surgery involves removing the implant as well as the areas of scar inside and replacing the implant. According to, surgeons recommend the following steps to prevent capsular contracture:

  • placing the breast implants under the pectoral muscles
  • antibiotics prior to and sometimes after surgery
  • gentle implant massage beginning shortly after surgery
  • Compression exercises that involve squeezing the implant to keep it flexible and loose

If you are considering breast augmentation in NYC with implants, find an AAAASF accredited plastic surgery practice with surgeons who are experts in the procedure. Such surgeons will help you choose the right type of implant for your body and provide optimal outcomes with minimal chances of complications or risks such as capsular contracture.