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Home/Breast Procedures/Capsular Contracture
(‘Implant Hardening’)

Capsular Contracture
(‘Implant Hardening’)

Capsular Contracture, or ‘Hardening of the Breasts’, occurs when the scar tissue which forms around the outside of the breast implant contracts or ‘shrinks’ and is pushing on the implant, creating a hardened feel and look to the breast.  The occurrence of capsular contraction has decreased largely related to improved surgical technique, and now occurs in well under one percent of cases.

During breast implant surgery, a ‘pocket’ is created for the implant, and a scar capsule forms around the implant during the post-operative period.  This is normal. However, sometimes the scar will shrink and squeeze on the implant, and results in firmness of the breast.  This may occur at various times after the initial surgery.  In some cases, it may cause some discomfort or distortion of the appearance of the breast. As mentioned, good surgical technique and planning minimises this risk.

If capsular contraction occurs, it can be corrected by surgically removing the capsule.  Depending on the patient preference, how old the implants are, and a number of other factors, the patient may wish to remove the implant, replace the implant, or combine a breast lift when removing the capsule.  After, the position of the implant, either in front or behind the muscle, will be changed to decrease recurrence.  Dr Craig Layt is happy to discuss these options with his patients as every patient has different circumstances and preferences.

If your original surgery was a long time ago we recommend that you also read our information on ‘Breast Enlargement‘ and ‘Breast Augmentation & Mastopexy’.

Every patient is an individual and therefore final surgical results will vary from patient to patient.  Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.  Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.