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Capsular Contracture Surgery

A breast implant capsular contracture can be a painful and unsightly experience. One should undertake certain precautions to lower the risk of capsular contracture.

Capsular contracture is the leading complication for breast augmentation patients. It occurs in approximately 5% of breast augmentation patients. Although the capsule is a fully natural occurrence within the body, it can cause the breast to become hard and produce visible distortion of the breast.

A capsule occurs with virtually every foreign object that is placed inside the body. It is a scar-like shell of collagen fibers that encases the object and under normal circumstances is completely harmless. In some cases the capsule grows very thick and tightens around the breast implant causing the breast to feel very dense and possibly painful and appears misshapen. It is still unknown to science why a capsule becomes so severe that it grows to this extent.

Capsular contracture is measured in four different levels (grades 1-4) with the fourth level being the most severe with the need for corrective surgery to remove the capsule.


There are theories based on statistics as to why capsular contracture occurs. Possible factors that may increase the chance of capsular contracture.

Capsular Contracture Risks

  • Infections during or after surgery (dental work)
  • Implant rupture (gel or silicone)
  • Subglandular breast implant placement
  • Radiation (before or after breast augmentation surgery)
  • Introduction of bacteria to the implant during or after surgery
  • Hematoma or seroma
  • Autoimmune disease