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Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is a term used to describe the uncommon problem of malformed scar tissue around a breast implant after breast augmentation surgery. During the breast augmentation procedure, a pocket in the breast tissue is created and the implant is inserted. As the tissues begin to heal after surgery, a capsule of scar tissue forms to hold the implant in place. Capsular contracture occurs when this capsule contracts, or thickens, and squeezes the implant, causing the breast to harden or become distorted. Through capsular contracture surgery, this can be corrected and the condition of the breasts can be improved.

The Baker Classification categorizes capsular contracture by separating it into four specific grades:

Grade I

The breast is soft and appears normal and flexible.

Grade II

The breast looks normal, but feels hard.

Grade III

The breast looks distorted or rounded, and feels hard to the touch.

Grade IV

Similar to Grade III, but with a more hardened capsule and discomfort or pain.

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidates for capsular contracture correction are in good overall health and are emotionally ready for surgery. Patients should refrain from smoking for at least two weeks before surgery as well as avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications, as these can increase bleeding. Although capsular contracture correction is very effective, patients should always make sure they have realistic expectations about the outcome of their procedure. Most patients who undergo this type of surgery experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Deformed or misshapen breasts
  • Pain and stiffness in the breasts
  • Breasts that have hardened over time


Dr. Chiu performs capsular contracture in an accredited facility on an outpatient basis. The procedure requires to put the patient under with general anesthesia. Surgery takes about two hours to complete, depending on the severity of the capsular contracture. After taking your preferences and needs for correction into mind, Dr. Chiu will then perform one of two techniques.

Open Capsulotomy

This technique works best for implants placed above the breast muscle that are not ruptured or leaking. The surgeon makes an incision in the breast and opens the capsule allowing it to expand. This results in more space for the implant and relieves the stiffness of the breast.


A surgeon may recommend this method when the implant is silicone gel and has shown signs of previous trauma. The surgeon makes an incision and removes the scar tissue. They can then insert a brand new implant into the breast

* Replacing the breast implant may provide better long-term results.


Once the procedure is complete, the breast area will be wrapped with a specialized surgical bra to reduce swelling and bruising. The doctor may also use drains in the breast to remove any excess fluid that may be apparent after surgery. Dr. Chiu will then prescribe medication to ease any pain or discomfort that you experience over the next few days. Most patients feel that they can return to work approximately one week after surgery. However, patients should avoid any strenuous exercise or activity for at least four weeks following surgery.

Your New Look

Patients typically love the outcome of their procedure and are happy to move forward with their lives without this condition. They feel confident knowing that their breasts look and feel more natural. To ensure the results of capsular contracture correction are long lasting, it is important that you choose a surgeon who is board certified and experienced in performing this type of surgery.

At Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gabriel Chiu regularly performs all types of breast procedures, including capsular contracture correction, to help women achieve the look that they desire. To schedule a consultation with our board certified plastic surgeon, we welcome you to call (888) 754-8955 or fill out our online contact form today.

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