Capsular Contracture is when the tissue that naturally forms around your breast implant becomes tighter and it squeezes the implant. This can cause your breast to feel hard, look misshapen and come sometimes be painful.
Capsular contracture is more common for those who have experienced it before and this will be discussed in more detail with your surgeon at your consultation.
Capsular contracture is one of the most common reasons for breast augmentation revision surgery. There is a grading system for capsular contracture called The Baker System. Baker I and Baker II are normal and do not require treatment.
• Baker I / Grade 1 – Formation of scar tissue around the implant is not causing firmness or a change to the size, shape or texture of the breasts. Breasts are soft and look natural.
• Baker II / Grade 2 – Patient has some firmness around the implant, but there is no distortion in the appearance of the breast.
• Baker III / Grade 3 – Breasts are firm and may appear abnormal in shape such as round, high, and bulgy on top.
• Baker IV / Grade 4 – Very similar to Grade 3 but patients will also experience breast soreness and may find their breasts tender and painful to touch.
Capsular contracture is often diagnosed on physical examination and doesn’t usually require any other special tests. It can occur on one or both implants and generally occurs during the healing process. It is not unusual however to have capsular contracture occur within the first 2 years of the implants being placed. Capsular contracture that occurs beyond this point may need to be checked for ruptures. Ruptured implants are a common cause of late-onset capsular contraction.
Revision surgery for capsular contracture will involve removing the entire capsule which is the lining around your implant and then you can either have the original implant removed or replaced.