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Capsular Contracture

Capsular Contracture Treatment

Capsular contracture is an unpredictable complication of breast implant surgery. It is also the most common breast augmentation complication. Although nonsurgical treatments are available, the most effective capsular contracture treatment is breast surgery to remove the implant and replace it in most cases.

Dr. Jeffrey Hoefflin serves the greater Los Angeles area, performing surgical capsular contracture treatments. As a leading, board-certified plastic surgeon with exceptional skills in breast augmentation revision and correction, he is often called upon to perform this delicate procedure. Using state-of-the-art techniques and materials, this unpleasant and painful condition can be fully corrected.

What Is Capsular Contracture and What Causes It?

Capsular contracture a complication of breast augmentation that develops when internal scar tissue forms a tight, constricting capsule around the implant. The scar tissue capsule contracts until the breast becomes hard and misshapen. The affected breast may be stiff and painful with a distorted, unnatural appearance. Silent capsular contracture is the type that occurs with no precipitating event, such as trauma to the breast, radiation, or hematoma. There is no known cause for silent capsular contracture. The most prevalent current theory is that it is caused by a low-grade infection.

How Common Is Capsular Contracture?

Capsular contracture is the most common complication of breast implant surgery. In the study published in JPRAS involving 1,400 consecutive primary breast augmentation procedures, researchers found a capsular contracture occurrence rate of 26.9%. Fortunately, this painful, unsightly condition can be corrected with surgical capsular contracture treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of Capsular Contracture?

When capsular contracture occurs, scar tissue around the implant begins to tighten, causing pain and distortion of the breast. Symptoms vary in severity, depending on the grade of capsular contracture:

  • Grade I: Breast is soft and looks and feels normal.
  • Grade II: Breast looks normal but feels somewhat harder than normal to the touch.
  • Grade III: Breast is hard to the touch and has begun to look rounded or distorted, with the implant sitting higher than normal.
  • Grade IV: Breast feels hard, is extremely distorted, and causes pain or discomfort.

How Is Capsular Contracture Repair Surgery Performed?

The surgical technique Dr. Hoefflin chooses for capsular contracture treatment will depend on several factors, including the patient’s anatomy, the severity of the symptoms, and whether implant leakage is present. Capsular contracture can be repaired using one of two surgical techniques.

Open Capsulotomy

This technique may be recommended for women whose implants are placed above the muscle when there is no sign of implant rupture. In open capsulotomy, Dr. Hoefflin begins by making a small incision through the areola or underneath the breast. Through this incision, he opens the scar tissue capsule that has formed around the implant, allowing it to expand, then closes the incision with absorbable sutures.


The capsulectomy technique is used when the implant shows signs of leakage or trauma. A small incision is made in the fold beneath the breast or through the areola. Through this incision, Dr. Hoefflin removes the scar tissue capsule and the implant.

A new breast implant is usually placed in the same surgery. If the implant was originally above the muscle, it may be placed below the muscle. Finally, the incision is closed with dissolvable sutures.

Recovery after Capsular Contracture Treatment

Recovery from capsular contracture repair surgery can take from one to two weeks. You can expect mild pain and swelling immediately after the procedure. You will wear a surgical bandage or compression bra for the first several days to help minimize swelling.

Bruising is common after capsular contracture surgery and usually dissipates in 10 to 14 days. Medication will be prescribed for post-surgical discomfort. Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for four to six weeks and follow all aftercare instructions carefully. Dr. Hoefflin will be monitoring your progress and you will have follow-up appointments with him. We can always be reached if you have questions or concerns.

Leading Breast Revision Surgeon Performs Capsular Contracture Treatment

Capsular contracture is a serious complication of breast augmentation surgery that causes the breast to become hard and misshapen. In the more advanced stages, this condition is not only unsightly, but also painful.

The only truly effective treatment for capsular contracture is breast revision surgery. Dr. Jeffrey Hoefflin skillfully performs capsular contracture treatment to correct this painful condition and restore an aesthetically pleasing, natural-looking appearance to the breast. Dr. Hoefflin is a fully-trained plastic and reconstructive breast surgeon with a strong reputation for surgical excellence in his breast augmentation, reduction, revision, and reconstruction procedures.

To discuss your options and find out if you are a candidate for capsular contracture treatments, we invite you to contact our office today.

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