Pain in the Boob? Capsular Contracture following Breast Augmentation

Capsular contracture is the most common complication following breast augmentation surgery and occurs in roughly 5-15% of cases. Any time a foreign object (such as a breast implant) is placed in the human body, our bodies own natural defence is to create a layer or capsule of fibrous tissue surrounding the object to act as a protective barrier. Quite amazing really! This layer of tissue is totally natural and will not cause harm to us or our health. However, over time this layer of tissue can tighten or contract (thus creating; capsular contracture). Sometimes the capsule’s tightening can cause distortion in the appearance of the breast and possibly even tenderness if left untreated for a long period. The most common complaints we hear are that one breast appears higher and more round than the opposite side and that it’s much more firm to the touch.

Can you prevent Capsular Contracture from occurring in the first place? Breast massage performed daily for at least the first year following a breast augmentation surgery is recommended as your best defence against this, but doesn’t guarantee it won’t happen. Massage forces the fibrous capsule to remain spacious enough to accommodate the implant, therefore not allowing the capsule to shrink or contract. If a minor capsular contracture is present, in some cases aggressive at home massage can release the contracture without the need for surgery. In more significant cases where the contracture has become bothersome either physically or aesthetically, surgical intervention is required to resolve the issue. If you have any concerns about your breast augmentation results, be sure to see your Plastic Surgeon for a follow up assessment.