11 doctors weighed in:

Why does my breast implant feel hard? I've had my breast implants in for 3 years now and i've noticed that the right breast it feels hardened on one side. Did it rupture? Is this something to worry about?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tal Dagan
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: When

When any implant is inserted the body reacts by forming a lining of tissue around it called the capsule.
In some cases the capsule begins to shrink, squeezing the implant that it surrounds. Though the exact causes of capsular contracture are largely unknown, there are factors that can contribute to this complication, including: germ contamination during implantation seroma (the development of extra fluid around implant) hematoma (internal bleeding) infection smoking placement of implant above muscle (when placed bellow the muscle capsular contracture occurs with less frequency) depending upon the severity the breast can feel firm or hard, become distorted, and begin to cause pain. To cure or treat capsular contracture there are both surgical and non-surgical options. Non-surgical prescribed antibiotics and vitamin e. While this is not always effective as a cure, many surgeons will suggest that patients take a regular dose of vitamin E for the first year after augmentation as it helps to keep tissue soft. Closed capsulotomy. The breast is forcefully squeezed in the hopes that the capsule pops or tears. This is not often done because it could cause the implant to rupture and may void the manufacturer's warranty. External ultrasound. May help reduce swelling and inflammation and does not involve any major risks. Accolate. This anti-inflammatory used in the treatment of asthma has shown, in minor studies, to help regress capsular contracture. This is a relatively new and experimental treatment with no long-term statistical data. Surgical open capsulotomy. The capsule surrounding the implant is surgically cut open in order to release the implant. After this is done, however, there is a chance of contracture occurring again. Open capsulectomy. This is generally the most successful, as well as the most intensive, form of treatment. The entire capsule is removed, allowing new tissue to form around the implant. In some cases, surgeons will change the implant placement: for example if the implant is placed above the muscle the surgeon may place it underneath the muscle during capsulectomy in the hopes of better results.

In brief: When

When any implant is inserted the body reacts by forming a lining of tissue around it called the capsule.
In some cases the capsule begins to shrink, squeezing the implant that it surrounds. Though the exact causes of capsular contracture are largely unknown, there are factors that can contribute to this complication, including: germ contamination during implantation seroma (the development of extra fluid around implant) hematoma (internal bleeding) infection smoking placement of implant above muscle (when placed bellow the muscle capsular contracture occurs with less frequency) depending upon the severity the breast can feel firm or hard, become distorted, and begin to cause pain. To cure or treat capsular contracture there are both surgical and non-surgical options. Non-surgical prescribed antibiotics and vitamin e. While this is not always effective as a cure, many surgeons will suggest that patients take a regular dose of vitamin E for the first year after augmentation as it helps to keep tissue soft. Closed capsulotomy. The breast is forcefully squeezed in the hopes that the capsule pops or tears. This is not often done because it could cause the implant to rupture and may void the manufacturer's warranty. External ultrasound. May help reduce swelling and inflammation and does not involve any major risks. Accolate. This anti-inflammatory used in the treatment of asthma has shown, in minor studies, to help regress capsular contracture. This is a relatively new and experimental treatment with no long-term statistical data. Surgical open capsulotomy. The capsule surrounding the implant is surgically cut open in order to release the implant. After this is done, however, there is a chance of contracture occurring again. Open capsulectomy. This is generally the most successful, as well as the most intensive, form of treatment. The entire capsule is removed, allowing new tissue to form around the implant. In some cases, surgeons will change the implant placement: for example if the implant is placed above the muscle the surgeon may place it underneath the muscle during capsulectomy in the hopes of better results.
Dr. Tal Dagan
Dr. Tal Dagan
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Dr. Adam Hamawy
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: A

A breast implant that feels hard three years after placement most likely has a capsular contracture.
This usually develops on its own however, in some cases, if you have a gel implant it may indicate a rupture. You should see your plastic surgeon so that you can be examined and if pertinent, an MRI may be recommended. In most cases, if there is no rupture of the implant, nothing needs to be done unless you are having pain or see a visible deformity. If it is significantly bothering you there are some medications that may improve the symptoms and surgery is always an option to revise a breast with capsular contracture.

In brief: A

A breast implant that feels hard three years after placement most likely has a capsular contracture.
This usually develops on its own however, in some cases, if you have a gel implant it may indicate a rupture. You should see your plastic surgeon so that you can be examined and if pertinent, an MRI may be recommended. In most cases, if there is no rupture of the implant, nothing needs to be done unless you are having pain or see a visible deformity. If it is significantly bothering you there are some medications that may improve the symptoms and surgery is always an option to revise a breast with capsular contracture.
Dr. Adam Hamawy
Dr. Adam Hamawy
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Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Capsular Contracture

What you describe sounds like capsular contracture.
The capsule around the implant gets hard and contracts. This can be caused by many different things. Best to see your board certified plastic surgeon. If you have silicone implants, he/she may want to get an MRI to rule out leak. He/she will make a diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.

In brief: Capsular Contracture

What you describe sounds like capsular contracture.
The capsule around the implant gets hard and contracts. This can be caused by many different things. Best to see your board certified plastic surgeon. If you have silicone implants, he/she may want to get an MRI to rule out leak. He/she will make a diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
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Dr. Barry Cohen
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: Sounds

Like capsular contracture.
See your doctor.

In brief: Sounds

Like capsular contracture.
See your doctor.
Dr. Barry Cohen
Dr. Barry Cohen
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Dr. David Levens
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: Capsular

Capsular contracture is the most likely cause.
You should see a plastic surgeon to examine you, make a diagnosis and provide treatment options. Sometimes it can be treated without surgery, but often if there is pain and deformity surgery may be indicated. There is no emergency andnyou need't worry about it, but if it bothers you then consult with a plastic surgeon for advice.

In brief: Capsular

Capsular contracture is the most likely cause.
You should see a plastic surgeon to examine you, make a diagnosis and provide treatment options. Sometimes it can be treated without surgery, but often if there is pain and deformity surgery may be indicated. There is no emergency andnyou need't worry about it, but if it bothers you then consult with a plastic surgeon for advice.
Dr. David Levens
Dr. David Levens
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Dr. Robert Brueck
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: What

What you are experiencing is encapsulation.
All breasts get a capsule and soemtimes that capsule can be very hard.It does not mean that it has ruptured at all.

In brief: What

What you are experiencing is encapsulation.
All breasts get a capsule and soemtimes that capsule can be very hard.It does not mean that it has ruptured at all.
Dr. Robert Brueck
Dr. Robert Brueck
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Dr. Tal Roudner
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: It

It appears that you may have developed a capsular contracture, one of the most common complications after breast augmentation surgery.
There are many methods to treat the complications ranging from medication to surgery. Lately there has been some promising news about successful treatments of the capsule using acellular dermal matrix (adm) such as stratice although more clinical data needs to be obtain to confirm the early results. You should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to examine you and give some recommendations. Good luck !

In brief: It

It appears that you may have developed a capsular contracture, one of the most common complications after breast augmentation surgery.
There are many methods to treat the complications ranging from medication to surgery. Lately there has been some promising news about successful treatments of the capsule using acellular dermal matrix (adm) such as stratice although more clinical data needs to be obtain to confirm the early results. You should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to examine you and give some recommendations. Good luck !
Dr. Tal Roudner
Dr. Tal Roudner
Thank
Dr. Darryl Blinski
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: Thanks

Thanks for the question.
You are experiencing capsular fibrosis or scar tissue tightening around the implant. Yes you should see your surgeon or see one of us in miami. A rupture is possible but an in person examination can allow you the learn of the diagnosis and treatment options.

In brief: Thanks

Thanks for the question.
You are experiencing capsular fibrosis or scar tissue tightening around the implant. Yes you should see your surgeon or see one of us in miami. A rupture is possible but an in person examination can allow you the learn of the diagnosis and treatment options.
Dr. Darryl Blinski
Dr. Darryl Blinski
Thank
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