Skip to content

How to Treat Capsular Contracture Following Breast Implants

Capsular contracture is an inappropriate immune system reaction to foreign elements in the body. In general, when the term is heard in a medical setting, it relates to artificial joint implants, artificial pacemakers, breast implants, and other similar prosthetic difficulties. 

Capsular contracture is a typical unintended consequence of breast implantation that requires surgery to cure. It may not appear as an evident problem immediately after surgery and may take many years to develop. Understanding what this problem is and how it occurs can allow you to make educated decisions regarding the sort of implants you want, where you want them, and how to care for them in the future.

What Causes Capsular Contracture?

Tightly woven collagen fibers are generated around the implant as a result of the immune response to alien, surgically implanted components. The body’s “biological defense via isolation and toleration” response to stuck items is manifested in this way. 

Capsular contracture occurs when this process accelerates and tightens or squeezes the breast implant, causing pain, discomfort, and, in extreme cases, distorting the aesthetics of the breast implant and breast. Although the origin of capsular contraction is uncertain, bacterial contamination, implant rupture, silicone-gel filling leakage, and hematoma have all been linked to the problem.

The Levels of Severity

The four-grade Baker scale is used to grade capsular contracture incidents:

Grade I- The breast is generally soft and seems to be of normal size and form.

Grade II- The breast is little hard but appears normal.

Grade III- The breast seems hard and unnatural.

Grade IV- The breast is hard and unpleasant to touch, and it seems unnatural.

Implant Methods for Reducing Capsular Contraction Occurrence

Techniques that have significantly reduced the incidence of capsular contracture have been developed in recent years. Some of the safeguards that may be taken include implant placement. Contracture is far less likely if the implant is put sub-muscularly and is textured or polyurethane-coated.

Limiting implant handling and contact with the chest wall skin before to insertion has also helped to reduce bacterial contamination, which is considered to dramatically increase the likelihood of contracture happening. Irrigation of the surgical site with triple-antibiotic solutions is another method for lowering the chance of complications.


Surgery is frequently required to correct this problem. If nothing else, surgical capsule release will be necessary, especially if the patient is in significant pain. In many circumstances, removing and replacing the implant, especially behind the muscle wall, is the best course of action (sub-muscular). Closed capsulotomy is a non-surgical treatment that involves manipulating the capsule from the outside. However, because of the high occurrence, it is no longer performed.

However, depending on the degree of the capsular contracture, various non-surgical techniques may be acceptable. Massage, external ultrasound, leukotriene pathway inhibitors, and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy are among them.

Finally, it is worth noting that the type of implant you choose may influence your chance of getting capsular contracture. Mentor Worldwide LLC Corporation (one of the two FDA-approved breast implant device manufacturers in the United States) reported on a study of medical issues encountered by breast implant patients at an FDA presentation in March 2000. According to their findings, 43 percent of women with saline breast implants experienced medical issues within three years following the procedure. 

Before scheduling your surgery, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of silicone and saline implants, as well as their location, with your plastic surgeon.