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Capsular contracture, is used to describe a post-surgery condition in which scar tissue forms around a breast implant. When capsular contracture develops, the breast hardens and looks or feels different, depending on the "grade" or amount of capsular contraction occurring. The patient may experience discomfort or pain, and visible distortion of the breast. Plastic surgeons like Dr. Javad Sajan are experienced in performing capsular contraction repair to fix this complication of breast implant surgery. Visit Dr. Sajan to get some of the best results from capsular contracture treatment Seattle can lay claim to.

What's Happening with your Breast Implants?

Your breasts should be soft, flexible, and natural looking no matter if you have undergone reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy or breast augmentation. But sometimes, your body goes into "healing overload." It recognizes that a foreign body has been placed in its tissues and begins to isolate the implant. Your body creates a scar tissue sac around the implant to seal it off. This is a naturally occurring process. However, that capsule may begin to contract or thicken and start squeezing the implant, causing pain, shifting of the implant, distortion, and even hardening of the breast. Symptoms can begin to appear at any time after the procedure, although it's most common within the first two years.

What Causes Capsular Contracture?

Capsular contracture affects about five percent of women who undergo breast augmentation with implants, but the precise cause of the condition is not known. In many cases, it develops without an apparent, underlying reason. However, there are factors that can increase your risk, including:

  • A rupture of your breast implant
  • Leaking silicone gel
  • Bacteria on the surface of the implant
  • An infection
  • Internal bleeding, fluid accumulating underneath the skin or a hematoma
  • Implant paced above the muscle
  • Breast trauma
  • Smoking
  • Radiation therapy

Capsular Contracture Repair

There are two primary procedures that are used to resolve capsular contracture:

Open Capsulotomy

This procedure is used for patients whose implants were placed above the muscle and show no indication of leakage or rupture. The procedure requires a small incision to gain access to the implant capsule and allow it to expand. Dr. Sajan will create a larger pocket for the implant, and close the incision.


This procedure is reserved for conditions in which the implant is showing signs of leakage or trauma. Dr. Sajan will make an incision, remove the encapsulating scar tissue and implant, replace it with a new breast implant, and close the incision.

Regardless of the approach used, your surgery will take place in our state-licensed surgery center and typically will not require an overnight hospital stay. An anesthesiologist will administer general (deep sleep) anesthesia or an intravenous sedation and anesthesia, and you'll be monitored closely throughout the procedure to ensure your safety.

Recovery from your corrective capsular contracture treatment will usually take between one and two weeks. You may experience some mild pain and bruising immediately after the surgery and you will likely be asked to wear a compression garment for several days to keep swelling to a minimum. Although most of our patients feel well enough to return to work within about one week, you'll need to continue to avoid strenuous activities for approximately six weeks to ensure an optimal healing process.

Dr. Sajan will give you detailed information on how to care for your incisions, any prescribed oral and topical medications you'll need to take, and your follow-up visits. The results of your Seattle capsular contracture treatment should be fully evident at about three months, after the bruising and swelling have fully resolved. At that point, your breasts should appear natural and soft once again.

Preventing a Capsular Contracture Recurrence

After receiving a diagnosis of capsular contracture, most patients are eager to learn about what they can do to prevent a recurrence. Fortunately, Dr. Sajan employs a number of very effective strategies to avoid this complication in the future, including:

Implant placement

Numerous studies have shown that implants placed over the muscle have a higher incidence of capsular contracture. As such, if you've already experienced this complication once, Dr. Sajan will reposition your implants so they're underneath the muscle.

Silicone implants

If you're having your breast implants replaced, Dr. Sajan will most likely use silicone implants as opposed to saline. This is due to the fact that many studies have shown that silicone implants have a lower capsular contracture rate.


Using drains after surgery can prevent fluid from accumulating in the breast capsule, further reducing your risk of capsular contracture. For this reason, Dr. Sajan will place small drains after your revision procedure to help prevent a recurrence.


Massaging your breasts after surgery may help to prevent capsular contracture. As such, about two weeks after your revision procedure, Dr. Sajan will talk to you about how to massage your implants to reduce your risk of a recurrence.

Capsular Contracture Treatment Gallery >>

Safe and Gentle Repair for Capsular Contracture

Your breast reconstruction or augmentation should give you comfort and satisfaction for years. However, if you suspect that a capsular contracture has occurred, contact Dr. Sajan's office to schedule a consultation appointment. With careful assessment and expert treatment, your breasts may look and feel comfortable and natural once again.


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