The Ultimate Guide to Capsular Contracture: Understanding, Treating, and Preventing It

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries worldwide. For the majority of patients, the experience can deliver the aesthetic changes they’ve longed for with minimal complications. However, a rare but possible post-surgical development called capsular contracture can arise, leading to discomfort, altering the shape of the augmented breast, and requiring corrective procedures. Understanding this condition is critical for any prospective or past patients and the medical professionals who care for them.

In this extensive guide, we will delve into the intricate world of capsular contracture, covering what it is, why it happens, its various degrees, and the plethora of treatment options available. Our endeavor is not just to educate, but to reassure and empower readers with information that can contribute to early intervention and successful management of capsular contracture. Let’s begin this journey with a comprehensive look at what capsular contracture truly entails.

What is Capsular Contracture?

Capsular contracture is one of the most common complications of breast augmentation surgery. This condition occurs when the natural scar tissue—known as a capsule—forms around a breast implant and tightens, leading to the hardening of the entire breast or just a section of it. It can result in a range of symptoms, from mild discomfort to severe pain and changes in the visual appearance of the breast. The underlying cause of capsular contracture is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a multifactorial issue, including immune response, bacterial contamination, and implant type, among others.

The condition can induce distress for patients, not just due to the physical changes but also the uncertainty of future outcomes. Capsular contracture can happen at any time following surgery, be it days or years later, and may require more extensive procedures to manage.

Understanding the Degrees of Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is categorized into four Baker grades, each indicating the severity of the condition:

Baker I:

The breast appears normal and feels soft to the touch.

Baker II:

The breast looks normal but feels slightly firm.

Baker III:

The breast is visibly distorted and feels firm.

Baker IV:

The breast is visibly distorted, hard, and painful. The skin over the breast might show ripples or be uncomfortable to lie on.

By understanding these grades, patients and practitioners can align on the urgency and type of treatment required, from conservative to more invasive interventions.

Why Does Capsular Contracture Occur?

The mechanisms leading to capsular contracture are not wholly understood, but several culprits have been identified through research and clinical observations:

Bacterial Contamination:

One leading hypothesis is that bacterial contamination of the surgical site leads to a chronic low-grade infection, provoking an overly aggressive immune response and hence contracture.

Hematoma or Seroma:

The presence of blood or fluid collections around the implant can lead to heightened inflammation, fostering conditions for a contracture to occur.

Silicone Bleed:

Historically, silicone implants have been associated with a higher rate of contracture. Although modern cohesive gel implants are far more stable, the issue with silicone bleed remains on the radar.

Breast Implant Rupture:

When an implant ruptures, whether saline or silicone, the body’s response is to wall off the foreign material, often leading to a contracture.

While understanding these factors doesn’t prevent capsular contracture, it does highlight the importance of proper surgical techniques, implant hygiene, and patient care to minimize risk.

Treatment Options for Capsular Contracture

The approach to treating capsular contracture depends greatly on the grade of contracture and the patient’s specific case. There are several levels of intervention:

Non-Invasive Methods:

Massage, using a textured surface implant, and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce discomfort and potentially prevent further contracture in the early stages.

Invasive Techniques:

When the contracture becomes more serious, the surgeon may need to perform a capsulotomy (release of the contracted capsule) or a capsulectomy (complete removal of the capsule) to effectively manage the condition.

Implant Exchange:

In cases where a patient wishes to maintain or change the size of their implant, this may be a good option, especially if the original implant is suspected to be a significant contributor to the development of contracture.

Emerging Therapies:

Some exciting non-traditional treatments are under investigation, such as the use of acellular dermal matrices, fat grafting, and prophylactic medications, which could potentially revolutionize the management of capsular contracture.

By being informed about these various approaches, patients can actively participate in the decision-making process for their care with their medical team.

Prevention Strategies for Capsular Contracture

While not every case of capsular contracture is preventable, there are strategies that medical professionals can employ to minimize the risk:

Surgical Techniques:

Using a no-touch or minimally invasive technique can reduce the likelihood of bacterial contamination.

Implant Materials and Texturing:

Selecting implants with a textured surface has been shown to lower the risk of contracture compared to smooth implants. Cohesive gel implants also seem to pose a lower risk.

Infection Management:

Vigilant post-operative care with appropriate antibiotics and monitoring can help mitigate the potential for infection, should it occur.

Patient Aftercare:

Encouraging proper post-operative care, including regular massage and compliance with prescribed medications, is essential.

Regular Monitoring:

Surgeons should follow up with patients on a regular basis to monitor any changes that may indicate developing contracture, allowing for early intervention.

By implementing these preventive measures, the industry can move towards significantly reducing the incidence of capsular contracture.

Patient Perspectives on Dealing with Capsular Contracture

Experiencing capsular contracture can be a deeply emotional and challenging journey for patients. Those who have been through it often share a common thread of finding empowerment through education, seeking support from others who have similar experiences, and advocating for their health within the medical community.

Patients should know that they are not alone in their struggle and that there is a growing community of individuals and advocacy groups who can offer guidance and empathetic understanding. Sharing personal stories and coping strategies can often be just as beneficial as clinical treatments in navigating this complex condition.

By giving a voice to these personal narratives, we humanize the issue and emphasize the need for open, supportive dialogue between patients, caregivers, and the healthcare industry at large.

Conclusion

Capsular contracture is a complex and challenging aspect of breast augmentation that demands collective attention and active management from patients and medical professionals alike. By gaining a deep understanding of this condition, we can work towards its successful treatment, prevention, and, ultimately, the continued improvement of breast augmentation outcomes.

For those encountering capsular contracture, it is crucial to engage with a supportive healthcare team that values your voice and well-being. With a focus on education, prevention, and evolving treatment modalities, we can turn the page on this chapter, driving towards a future where the joy of breast enhancement is not overshadowed by the fear of complications.

 

I Can Feel a Lump Around My Breast Implant: Causes, Concerns, and Considerations

Detecting a lump around a breast implant can be an alarming discovery for women who have undergone breast augmentation. This blog post aims to shed light on the potential causes of such lumps, what to do if you notice them, and the best course of action to address your concerns.

Understanding Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic surgical procedures worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of women choosing to undergo this enhancement each year. It typically involves the use of saline or silicone gel implants to increase the size of the breasts, achieve a more balanced figure, or restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.

While the outcome is usually aesthetically pleasing, as with any medical procedure, breast augmentations carry potential risks and complications. Detecting a lump around an implant can lead to anxiety and uncertainty, and it’s crucial to address these concerns with a healthcare professional promptly.

Common Reasons for Lumps Around Breast Implants

There are several reasons why a woman might notice a lump around her breast implant. Some of the most common include:

1. Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue, or ‘capsule,’ that forms around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant. This can cause the breast to feel firm and painful and may lead to the appearance of a lump, unevenness, or distortion of the breast shape.

2. Implant Rippling

Implant rippling refers to the visible and palpable rippling or wrinkling of an implant through the skin. This occurs when the implant is not completely covered by the breast tissue, leading to the sensation of a lump under the skin.

3. Cyst Formation

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form around the implant, which might be felt as a lump during a self-examination. Cysts are generally benign, but they should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to rule out any potential issues.

4. Breast Implant Rupture

A breast implant rupture can occur in either a saline or silicone implant. If a saline implant ruptures, it will typically deflate quickly, while a silicone implant rupture might result in the sensation of a lump, changes in breast shape, or discomfort.

When to Worry and Seek Medical Help

Not all lumps around implants are causes for immediate concern, but some definitely should be.

1. Sudden Onset of Lump or Pain

If you experience a sudden onset of a lump or pain in the breast, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. This could be a sign of a complication such as implant rupture or infection that requires prompt attention.

2. Changes in the Breast

Any significant change in the appearance and feel of your breast, such as asymmetry or the development of new lumps, should be evaluated by a doctor.

3. Lumps That Persist or Grow

While some lumps might be benign and resolve on their own, any lump that does not go away or grows in size over time needs to be examined.

4. Redness or Warmth

The presence of redness or warmth in the area of the lump could be indicative of an underlying infection that requires medical management.

Steps to Take When You Find a Lump

If you detect a lump around your breast implant, there are several steps you should follow:

1. Perform a Self-Exam

Conduct a thorough self-examination to identify the characteristics of the lump, including its size, shape, and whether it’s mobile or attached to the skin or chest wall.

2. Schedule an Appointment With Your Surgeon

Contact your breast augmentation surgeon to schedule an appointment. They are familiar with your medical history and the specifics of your procedure and will be well-equipped to evaluate the cause of the lump.

3. Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions

Your surgeon may recommend additional diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI, to assess the lump and its impact on the implant.

4. Consider Breast Implant Revision Surgery

In cases where the lump is due to a complication such as capsular contracture or implant rupture, your surgeon may recommend revision surgery to correct the issue.

Long-Term Maintenance and Considerations

To minimize the risk of complications, women with breast implants should have breast implant health check-ups. Implant Health are a specialist breast implant clinic that can check your implants.

Final Thoughts: Taking Action for Peace of Mind

Any changes in your body, including the sensation of a lump around a breast implant, can be distressing. Trust your instincts and take action to address the issue. Whether the lump is benign or symptomatic of a more significant complication, prompt evaluation and care will provide peace of mind and guide you toward the best course of action.

Breast implants should enhance your confidence and well-being, and with the right monitoring and care, most women can enjoy their benefits for years. If you’re ever in doubt about a new sensation or change in your breast tissue, reaching out to your healthcare provider is always the prudent choice. Remember, your health is your most precious asset — treat it with the attention and respect it deserves.

 

What is capsular contracture?

Capsular contracture, is a complication that can occur after breast augmentation. While breast augmentation is generally considered safe, capsular contracture is a potential concern that may affect some individuals.

In normal healing after breast augmentation surgery, the body forms a natural protective barrier around the implanted device called a capsule. This capsule is composed of collagen fibres and other connective tissues, serving as a protective barrier between the implant and the surrounding tissues. However, in cases of capsular contracture, this natural process goes awry.

Capsular contracture occurs when the capsule tightens and contracts around the breast implant. This tightening can cause the breast to feel firm or hard and may lead to changes in shape and appearance. In some cases, the contracture can result in discomfort or pain.

The exact cause of capsular contracture is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to a combination of factors. These factors may include the body’s response to the foreign implant, bleeding around the implant, infection, or genetic predisposition. Surgical techniques, implant type, and implant placement may also influence the likelihood of developing capsular contracture.

Management of capsular contracture varies depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, non-surgical interventions such as massage, medication, or ultrasound therapy may be recommended to help soften the capsule and alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove or replace the implant and address the contracted capsule.

Preventing capsular contracture is challenging, but certain measures may help reduce the risk. Proper implant selection, placement, and surgical techniques, as well as following post-operative care instructions diligently, can contribute to minimising the likelihood of this complication.

In conclusion, capsular contracture is a potential complication following breast augmentation surgery. Although the exact cause is not fully understood, advancements in surgical techniques and post-operative care continue to improve outcomes. Individuals considering breast augmentation should discuss the risks and benefits with their surgeon to make informed decisions about their procedure. Regular follow-up appointments with a healthcare professional are essential for monitoring and addressing any potential complications, including capsular contracture.

Are you worried about capsular contracture?

Implant Health gives patients access to personalised breast health screenings, with only the very best surgeons, and radiologists to ensure the highest standards of excellence.

Currently, the service is available at OneWelbeck Medical Centre in London. The scans start at £450 and are open to anybody who has breast implants.

 

What can a health check of my breast implants do?

A breast implant check is a crucial medical examination designed to assess the integrity, functionality, and overall well-being of breast implants. This comprehensive evaluation is typically recommended for individuals who have previously undergone breast augmentation surgery. The primary purpose of a breast implant check is to ensure that the implants are in good condition and that there are no signs of complications or abnormalities.

During a breast implant check, a qualified healthcare professional, often a plastic surgeon or a specialised nurse, will conduct a thorough examination. This process may involve both physical and visual assessments, as well as the use of medical imaging techniques such as mammograms or ultrasound scans. The key aspects covered in a breast implant check include:

1. Physical Examination: The healthcare provider will assess the size, shape, and symmetry of the breasts. They will check for any changes in the skin, such as redness, swelling, or unusual lumps.

2. Implant Integrity: The structural integrity of the implants is a critical focus. The healthcare professional will examine for any signs of rupture, leakage, or deflation. Silicone implants, in particular, may require imaging techniques like MRI to detect issues that may not be visible externally.

3. Capsular Contracture: This refers to the tightening of the scar tissue (capsule) that naturally forms around the implant. The healthcare provider will evaluate the degree of capsular contracture, as severe cases may require corrective surgery.

4. Positioning: The positioning of the implants is essential for achieving the desired aesthetic outcome. Any displacement or malposition will be assessed during the check.

5. Overall Breast Health: The examination may include a broader assessment of breast health, including screening for any signs of breast cancer. Mammograms and other imaging studies may be recommended as part of a comprehensive breast health check.

Regular breast implant checks are crucial for early detection of potential issues, ensuring patient safety, and maintaining optimal cosmetic results. Patients are typically advised to undergo these checks periodically, as recommended by their healthcare provider. Open communication between the patient and healthcare professional is essential to address any concerns, answer questions, and make informed decisions about the ongoing care of breast implants. Regular implant checks contribute to the long-term success and satisfaction of individuals who have chosen breast augmentation surgery.

Implant Health gives patients access to personalised breast health screenings, with only the very best surgeons, and radiologists to ensure the highest standards of excellence.

Book your breast implant scan here.

 

The Truth About the Health Risks of Breast Implants

Breast implants are a popular aesthetic procedure that has become increasingly common over the past few years. Women choose to have them for a variety of reasons such as to increase breast size, correct asymmetry, or reconstruct post-cancer. However, with the prevalence of breast implants has come concerns regarding their impact on overall health. So, can breast implants harm your health? In this blog post, we will explore the topic in-depth to help you make a more informed decision about your body.

First, let’s address the most significant health concern surrounding breast implants which is breast implant illness (BII). BII is a collection of symptoms that some women experience after having breast implants. These symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, and more. While there is no definitive proof that breast implants cause BII, many women have reported relief after removing their implants. It’s important to note that not all women with implants experience these symptoms, and not all symptoms are necessarily caused by the implants.

Another common concern is that breast implants can increase your risk of autoimmune disease. Again, while there is no conclusive proof that breast implants directly cause autoimmune disease, several studies have found a correlation between the two. One study found that women with breast implants had a higher incidence of a type of arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis. Another study found that women with implants were more likely to develop Sjögren’s syndrome, a disease in which white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands.

When it comes to breast cancer, many women worry that implants could potentially hide breast lumps or make it more difficult to detect cancerous cells. However, studies show that breast implants do not affect mammography accuracy. In fact, mammography provides more detailed images and can be performed more quickly in women with breast implants.

It’s also worth considering the material used in breast implants. The two most common types of implants are silicone and saline. Silicone implants are made of a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel, while saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater. Several studies have been conducted on the safety of silicone implants and have found no evidence that they are associated with serious health risks. However, ruptures can occur, which can cause complications including infection, scarring, and breast pain.

In conclusion, while there may be some potential health risks associated with breast implants, it’s essential to note that the majority of women with breast implants do not experience any negative side effects. It’s crucial to speak with an experienced and qualified surgeon and perform proper research before undergoing any surgical procedure. Ultimately, the decision to get breast implants is a personal one, and every woman should do what feels right for her body. If you do decide to get implants, it’s important to maintain regular breast implant health checks to ensure the implants are healthy and functioning correctly.

 

My Breast Implants Shape Have Changed – Why?

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries among women in the world. It is a procedure that increases the size and shape of breasts using implants. However, in some cases, women who have undergone breast augmentation complain that the shape of their breasts has changed over time, and this leaves them wondering what went wrong. If you’re in the same boat, don’t panic; this article will help you understand why breast implant shape changes and what you can do about it.

Capsular Contracture

Capsular Contracture is one of the most common reasons why breast implants can change in shape over time. This occurs when the tissue around the implant hardens, causing the breast to look rigid and distorted. This condition is likely to happen within the first few years after surgery, and you may notice symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and discomfort. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult your surgeon immediately for treatment.

Implant Displacement

Implant displacement is another reason why breast implants can change in shape. This can happen when all or part of the implant moves from its original position, causing the breast to look uneven and unnatural. This condition can be caused by several factors, including excessive physical activity, weight gain, or hormonal changes. To avoid implant displacement, avoid activities that strain your chest muscles, and consult your surgeon if you notice any changes in breast shape.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnancy and breastfeeding can also cause breast implant shape changes. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can make your breasts fuller, causing the skin to stretch, which may affect the shape of your breast implants. Breastfeeding also causes hormonal changes that can make your breasts bigger or smaller, causing your implants to look different. To minimize the effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding on your breast implants’ shape, discuss your options with your surgeon.

Aging

Aging affects the body in many ways, including breast shape. As you age, your skin loses elasticity, causing your breasts to sag and affect the appearance of your implants. This condition is called “Ptosis,” and it can happen regardless of whether you have breast implants or not. If you notice that your implants’ shape has changed due to aging, talk to your surgeon about your options.

Breast Implant Material

The type of implant material can also affect the shape of your breast implants. For example, saline implants are more likely to show ripples and wrinkles than silicone implants. Similarly, textured implants are more likely to cause capsular contracture than smooth implants. If you notice any changes in breast shape due to implant material, consult your surgeon for advice.

Breast implants are a significant cosmetic procedure that can increase your confidence and improve your appearance. However, breast implant shape changes are common, and there are several reasons why they can occur. The most important thing is to communicate with your surgeon if you notice any changes in your breast implant’s shape. Together, you can discuss the best course of action to help restore your confidence and enhance your appearance.

 

Why do Breast Implants Hurt?

If you have recently undergone breast augmentation or are considering it, you may be wondering how much pain is normal and what you can expect during the healing period.

However, several other reasons may cause your breast implants to hurt including complications. Now, when it comes to complications associated with breast procedures, they are considered rare but if you suspect there is something wrong, we advise you to contact a professional for an examination. 

What does the Healing Process Look like?

Naturally, during your procedure, your surgeon will need to create an incision and stretch the existing breast tissue to place your implant. 

This may result in some post-operative pain, swelling, and tenderness which is completely natural and part of the healing process. Any pain can be controlled using anti-inflammatory medication and should begin to improve within a few weeks of surgery. 

What complications cause pain?

Now, whilst the risk of complication is low certain conditions may cause breast implant pain. 

Capsular contracture

 Capsular contracture occurs when the body’s immune system responds to the presence of a foreign object, such as a breast implant, by forming scar tissue around it. 

In some cases, this scar tissue can become thick and constrict, causing pain and discomfort.

Implant rupture or leakage 

If a breast implant ruptures, it can cause pain and discomfort. This can happen due to trauma, aging of the implant, or a defect in the implant.

Implant displacement

Sometimes, breast implants can shift or move out of place, causing pain and discomfort.

Breast Implant Infection 

Breast implant infections are rare but can occur. If an infection develops, it can cause pain, swelling, redness, and other symptoms.

If you are experiencing persistent pain or discomfort with your breast implants, you must speak with your plastic surgeon. They can perform a physical examination, imaging tests, or other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment.

For more information on breast pain, or to book a breast health screening contact Implant Health.

 

The Horror Stories of Breast Implants: What Women Need to Know

Breast implants are certainly a hot topic these days. Many women opt to get them for a variety of reasons, including boosting their confidence or after surgery such as a mastectomy. However, there are some horror stories out there that raise serious concerns about the safety and potential side effects of getting breast implants. If you are a woman with implants or are considering getting them, it’s important to educate yourself on these risks and make an informed decision. In this blog, we will explore some of the horror stories surrounding breast implants and what you need to know.

Illnesses and Health Complications

One of the biggest concerns about breast implants is the potential health complications that can arise. Some women have reported illnesses such as chronic fatigue, joint pain, hair loss, and neurological problems after getting implants. This is believed to be due to the body’s immune response to the foreign object. Additionally, implant rupture or leakage can cause severe health problems, requiring surgery to remove the implant. It’s important to note that not all women will experience these issues, but they are a possibility to consider.

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is a complication that occurs when the scar tissue around the implant begins to tighten and squeeze the implant. This can cause discomfort, misshapen breasts, or even leakage or rupture of the implant. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct the issue. While this complication is relatively rare, it’s important to be aware of it if you have or are considering getting implants.

Emotional and Psychological Effects

It’s no secret that getting breast implants can have a significant impact on a woman’s self-image and confidence. However, it’s important to consider the potential emotional and psychological effects as well. Some women have reported feeling immense pressure to maintain the “perfect” appearance of their newly enhanced breasts. This can lead to a negative body image and poor self-esteem. Additionally, some women have reported feeling like they are not taken as seriously by others, particularly in a professional or academic setting. It’s important to weigh the potential emotional and psychological effects of getting breast implants before making a decision.

Limited Posing Options

Believe it or not, having breast implants can limit your posing options, especially if you are someone who enjoys working out or engaging in physical activity. This can have a significant impact on your lifestyle and hobbies, and can even limit your options in certain careers. Additionally, finding well-fitting clothing and bras can also be a challenge for some women.

Breast implants can be a life-changing decision for many women, but it’s important to consider the potential side effects and horror stories before making a decision. The health complications, emotional and psychological effects, financial burden, and limited posing options are just a few of the things to consider. Ultimately, it’s up to each woman to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision that is right for her. Whether you have implants already or are considering getting them, it’s important to stay educated and informed about the potential risks and side effects. By doing so, you can make the best decision for your body and your overall well-being.

Can Breast Implants Cause Health Problems

Can Breast Implants Cause Health Problems?

Can breast implants cause health problems? If you have undergone or are considering having a breast augmentation this is one question you may be pondering. 

Breast augmentations are considered safe; however, it is important to remember that like any medical procedure, they do carry a risk of complication. 

What Complications Should I be Aware of?

So, can breast implants cause health problems? Being one of the most popular, and sought-after cosmetic procedures, complications arising from breast augmentations are very rare. However, if you suspect something is wrong, it is important to get your implants checked by a professional as soon as possible. 

On average, the lifespan of a breast implant is around 10 years, but we recommend having your implants checked by a professional every couple of years to ensure it is still healthy. 

Below, we have detailed some of the complications to look out for. 

Breast Implant Infection

It is important to remember that breast implants are a foreign material and therefore can become infected. If you develop a high fever, breast pain, swelling, tenderness, breast discharge, or the breast feels hot to the touch, we advise you to seek professional help right away. 

Infections can generally be treated with antibiotics, but in more severe cases, we may need to clean the infected tissue and remove the implant.  

Breast Implant Ruptures

This type of complication is more common in older implants; however, they can occur at any time. Symptoms to look out for include a change in breast size or shape, hardness around the implant, redness on the skin, or lumps under the arm. 

For some patients, a ruptured implant may not present with any symptoms, this is known as a silent rupture. Again, we recommend having your implants checked regularly to avoid any problems.

Capsular contracture

It is natural for women to develop a thin layer of scar tissue over the surface of the implant, this is known as a capsule. However, if this capsule becomes abnormally thickened it may begin to cause discomfort in the breast or change its shape. 

We call this a capsular contracture, which may require surgery to remove the hard capsule of tissue. 

Breast Implant Malposition

This happens when the implant begins to move. It can happen soon after the initial surgery or sometimes later down the line. Now, there are several types of positioning problems, including: 

Rotation – this is more common with teardrop-shaped implants

Implant flipping – which results in a sudden change of shape

Slipping – where the implant slips to the bottom or the side of the breast.

Seroma (fluid around the implant)

If your implant ruptures or you have a low-grade infection it can cause fluid to collect around the implant. In rare cases, the fluid may be caused by anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) that develops around breast capsules. The most common symptom to look out for is an increase in your overall breast size, and you should always seek professional help to mitigate any further risk. 

BIA-ALCL

BIA-ALCL, otherwise known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma is an extremely rare blood cancer that forms in the capsule of breast implants. It is thought to occur around 8-10 years following your procedure, and symptoms can include a build-up of fluid or a hard lump that you can feel. 

Here at Implant Health, we strive to empower and support you through your implant journey, so if you have any concerns or would like to book a screening contact our team.  

 

My breast implant is the wrong shape – what can I do?

Whilst extremely rare, breast augmentations do carry a slight risk of complication. One of the main symptoms that something is wrong is a significant change in the look and feel of your implant. 

In this blog, we will look at some of the possible complications that could cause your breast implant to change shape and treatment for each condition.

What are the complications?

Breast augmentations remain the most sought-after cosmetic procedures around today. Now, complications from breast augmentations are rare but it is important to have your implants checked by a professional to treat the issue. 

On average, the lifespan of both saline and silicone breast implants is around 10 years. After this time, it is recommended that you have them replaced or removed. However, during the lifespan of your implant, we recommend you book regular breast health screenings to ensure your implant and surrounding breast remain healthy. 

Here are some complications that could cause your breast to change shape:

Capsular contracture

Following breast augmentations, it is natural to develop a thin layer of scar tissue over the surface of the implant. If this tissue becomes abnormally thickened it can cause discomfort in the breast and result in it changing shape. 

We call this a capsular contracture and sometimes will recommend further surgery to remove the affected tissue. 

Breast Implant Ruptures

Breast Implant Ruptures are more common in older implants, but they can occur at any time. If you have a saline implant, one of the main symptoms to look out for is a significant change in breast shape, and size. 

In silicone implants, ruptures may be a little more difficult to identify as the silicone generally remains around the breast tissue, but you may notice hardening of the breast.

Breast Implant Rupture treatment typically involves surgery to remove the implant, and replace it if necessary. 

Breast Implant Malposition

This can happen following the initial surgery, or later in life but Implant Malposition happens when the implant changes position in the breast. Changes can include rotation, flipping, and slipping but all will manifest as a change in overall breast shape. 

If you suspect your breast implant has moved, contact your surgeon, or book a screening at one of our facilities. A qualified surgeon will be able to correct the implant position or replace it if necessary. 

Seroma (fluid around the implant)

If your implant ruptures or you have developed a minor infection, fluid can collect around the implant which in most cases causes the breast to increase in overall size. You should always seek professional help to identify and treat the seroma to mitigate any further problems.  

Will breast implant screening help?

Yes. Regular breast screenings can monitor how your breast implants change over time and the overall health of the surrounding breast. Any change in shape or size will be detected during your screenings, and we will be able to identify the cause and recommend a suitable course of action.

For more information on breast implant infections, or to book a breast health screening contact our team at Implant Health.