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.


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.


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.


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, 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.  


Concerned About Breast Implants and Health?

If you’re concerned about breast implants and your health, it’s important to address your concerns in a proactive and informed manner. While breast augmentation is generally safe, it’s natural to want to ensure your well-being. Here are steps to consider if you think your breast implants are making you ill:

  1. Consult a Medical Professional:

If you’re experiencing symptoms that you believe might be related to your breast implants, the first step is to consult a qualified medical professional. A board-certified plastic surgeon or a healthcare provider experienced in breast implant issues can help evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and overall health.

  1. Document Your Symptoms:

Keep a detailed record of the symptoms you’re experiencing. Include information such as the type of symptoms, when they started, any patterns you’ve noticed, and how they impact your daily life. This information will be valuable when discussing your concerns with a medical professional.

  1. Be Open About Your Concerns:

When consulting a medical professional, be open and transparent about your concerns. Clearly communicate your symptoms, your suspicion that they might be related to your breast implants, and any relevant information about your medical history. This will help the healthcare provider assess your situation accurately.

  1. Consider Medical Testing:

Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your healthcare provider might recommend medical testing to rule out other potential causes. Imaging techniques like ultrasound or MRI can help assess the condition of your breast implants and surrounding tissue. These tests can provide valuable information for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

  1. Seek a Second Opinion:

If you’re unsure about the initial assessment or diagnosis, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion from another qualified medical professional. Different perspectives can help you make a well-informed decision about your health.

  1. Research and Educate Yourself:

While online information can be helpful, it’s essential to rely on reputable sources for information about breast implant health concerns. Look for information from reputable medical organizations, regulatory agencies, and established healthcare providers.

  1. Consider Implant Removal or Revision:

If your medical evaluations suggest that your breast implants might be causing health issues, you may need to consider implant removal or revision surgery. Discuss the potential benefits, risks, and considerations with your healthcare provider and plastic surgeon.

  1. Prioritize Your Well-Being:

Your health and well-being are of the utmost importance. Make decisions that prioritize your physical and emotional health. If you’re experiencing symptoms that significantly impact your quality of life, seeking appropriate medical attention is essential.


If you believe your breast implants are making you ill, or are concerned about breast implants, it’s important to approach the situation with careful consideration and informed decision-making. Consulting qualified medical professionals, documenting your symptoms, and prioritizing open communication will guide you toward the best course of action for your health. Whether it’s seeking medical testing, considering implant removal, or exploring treatment options, taking proactive steps will ensure that you’re on the path to addressing your concerns and achieving your well-being.


Understanding Seroma Fluid: A Common Concern Around Breast Implants

Understanding Seroma Fluid: A Common Concern Around Breast Implants

All cosmetic surgeries carry a risk of complications, and breast implants are no different. One common concern that may arise after breast augmentation is the accumulation of seroma fluid around the breast implant. In this article, we will delve into what seroma fluid is, its causes, symptoms, treatment options, and tips for prevention.


What is Breast Seroma Fluid?


Seroma fluid is a collection of clear or slightly yellowish fluid that can accumulate within the body’s tissues. In the context of breast augmentation, seroma fluid may form around the implant. This fluid buildup occurs when the body’s natural healing process leads to an excess production of fluid in the surgical site. Although seromas can potentially develop after any surgical procedure, they are more commonly associated with breast augmentation surgery.


Breast Seroma Symptoms 


The precise cause of seroma formation remains uncertain, but several factors may contribute to its development. These include trauma to the surgical area, inadequate drainage of lymphatic fluid during surgery, excessive physical activity, or an inflammatory response. Symptoms of a seroma may include swelling, pain, tenderness, and a feeling of heaviness or pressure in the breast area. In some cases, a visible or palpable fluid-filled pocket may be noticeable.


Seroma Treatment Options 


When seroma fluid is identified around a breast implant, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Treatment options for seromas vary depending on their size and severity. Small seromas may resolve on their own with time, but larger ones may require intervention. The most common approach is needle aspiration, where a healthcare professional uses a syringe to withdraw the accumulated fluid. In some instances, a drainage tube may be inserted to facilitate continuous drainage until the seroma resolves.


Prevention and Post-Operative Care 


While it may not always be possible to prevent seroma formation entirely, certain measures can help minimize the risk. Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions diligently is crucial. This includes avoiding strenuous physical activities and lifting heavy objects during the initial recovery period. Wearing a compression garment as recommended by your surgeon can also help reduce swelling and aid in proper healing. Regular follow-up visits are essential to monitor your healing progress and detect any potential complications, including seroma formation, at an early stage.




Seroma fluid accumulation around breast implants is a known post-operative complication. Understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures is vital for individuals undergoing breast augmentation surgery. By being aware of the signs and promptly seeking medical attention, individuals can ensure timely management of seroma fluid, facilitating a smoother and more successful recovery from breast augmentation surgery.


If you have concerns about your breast implants, Implant Health can help. We encourage regular check-ups of your implants to address issues and check for any problems. To get a breast implant check-up, please book an appointment.


Worried about your breast implants?

If you’re worried about your implants, we can help.

The benefits of breast implant checks include the early detection of implant-related problems and the ability to monitor how your breast and implant change over time.