Capsular Contracture | Are My Breast Implants Botched?

February 7th, 2023 | Categories: Breast

Woman breasts photo

You had your breast augmentation surgery and loved the results! It boosted your confidence and made you feel and look fantastic. Until, a few years later, something didn’t quite feel right. One of your breasts started feeling firmer, tighter, unnatural and painful. These are breast implant capsular contracture symptoms and signs, a rare breast augmentation risk that has now become your unfortunate reality.

Do I Have Capsular Contracture?

It is often best to ask a board certified plastic surgeon this question and to be physically examined.  Because implant malposition and other conditions like BIA-ALCL, seroma, and implant rupture can create asymmetries, it is important to be seen by your plastic surgeon if you notice changes in one or both of your breasts after breast augmentation surgery.

There are several “levels” or classes of capsular contracture that are based on the presence and degree of deformity and discomfort of one or both of your augmented breasts.  We use the Baker Classification to guide diagnosis and treatment of capsular contracture.

Grade Description
I Soft breast
II Minimal firmness, implant palpable, not visible
III Moderate firmness, palpable implant, and visible deformity
IV Severe firmness, hard breast, painful with distortion

Don’t Fear, the Best Capsular Contracture Surgeon is Here!

The greatest risk factor for developing capsular contracture, unfortunately, is a history of capsular contracture.  Working with a well-trained and well-read board-certified plastic surgeon significantly reduces the risk of capsular contracture occurring post-surgery. Dr. Zelken has successfully provided capsular contracture treatment to dozens of women.

How to Prevent Capsular Contracture, Hard Painful Boobs

While it is impossible to guarantee that you won’t get capsular contracture – there are several ways to reduce your chances of developing it or having it recur. These include:

  • Thorough screening to ensure your suitability for breast augmentation
  • Ensuring the correct implant size and type is used
  • Minimal implant handling by your surgeon
  • Minimizing bleeding, bruising, and infection risk

To correct capsular contracture and prevent or correct recurrence:

  • Replacing an implant under the muscle if previously placed above it
  • Biological meshes may be considered in recurrent cases
  • Implant removal and tissue expansion may be considered in complex cases
  • Breast lift can improve breast appearance when skin and nipple position is excessive or distorted
  • Certain medications like montelukast (Singulair) and zafirlukast (Accolate) can help curb or reverse capsular contracture development postoperatively
  • En bloc capsulectomy, a specialized surgical procedure that removes the capsule and implant together as a single, unviolated unit
  • For some, massage to improve circulation and to keep the tissue soft post-surgery (as directed by your surgeon)

How to Fix a Painful Boob Job – Capsular Contracture Treatment

There are different grades of capsular contracture grades and these all influence the capsular contracture treatment. The diagnosis is never more clear than direct intraoperative observation of the implant and its investing capsule. In severe cases, it is not only breast scar tissue that forms, but also calcification of the breasts that takes place. Surgery is not only the gold standard, but the only remedy for many women who are bothered by capsular contracture.

An en bloc capsulectomy is a procedure that not only releases the thick scar capsule, but preserves the force field that was divinely designed and crafted by the surrounding tissues. This procedure is not for everyone, as discussed in Dr. Zelken’s YouTube video where he talks you through capsular contracture images and the best capsular contracture treatment options.

Contact the Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine if you suspect that you may have capsular contracture.

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