There are a lot of variables when it comes to breast augmentation. The size of the implants will vary from woman to woman. Implant shape also varies. And let’s not forget that you also have two major options when it comes to implant material, either silicone or saline.
Understanding Capsular Contracture
Following any surgery that involves an implant, a capsule of scar tissue will typically develop to surround it. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the capsule is usually a good thing. It protects the implant and holds it in place. In some circumstances, though, the capsule can act up. The scar tissue that makes up the capsule can harden and it can begin to shrink. As it shrinks, it constricts around the implant. Capsular contracture can be notably painful and can make the affected breast look deformed. It’s not clear why it happens to some women and not others, but it’s estimated that around 15% of women with implants will develop capsular contracture at some point. Contracture is rated on a grading scale ranging from one to four. Grade 1 capsular contracture typically doesn’t present any symptoms. The breasts look normal and there isn’t any pain.
Grade 2 capsular contracture can result in breasts that feel somewhat firm. In grade 2, there usually isn’t discomfort or pain.
Grade 3 capsular contracture can produce unusual-looking breasts. The nipples might appear deformed, the breasts might feel firm and they might look very round. By grade 4, the breasts are usually very visually deformed. They also tend to be sore and tender to the touch.
Although it can be uncomfortable and unsightly, capsular contracture doesn’t typically cause long-lasting health problems. Removing the implants or replacing them typically corrects the issue. Under-the-muscle placement also greatly reduces the chance of it occurring.