American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
4 years ago

capsular contracture

How do you confirm capsular contracture? Is there a confirmatory test for this other than physical exam and grading by a surgeon? Will it likely to happen at 4 weeks post breast augmentation surgery? Muscle spasm post BA surgery, how is it similar or different to capsular contracture? Thank you.

Procedure: Breast Implant Revision
Location: los angeles, CA

Replies 7

Aaron Stone
ASPS Surgeon

Capsular contracture is obvious to see as it causes loss of the normally curved breast contour. It can happen anytime after surgery but probably not within days. If the contour is flattened immediately after surgery the problem is usually muscle spasm, inadequate dissection of the pocket to put the implant into and or too big an implant for the patient's chest size. Muscle spasm should respond to a muscle relaxant whereas a contracture will not respond. The best way to avoid muscle spasm after implant placement is muscle paralysis during surgery or placement of the implant on top of the muscle if possible.

Michael Streitmann
ASPS Surgeon

A physical exam is the best confirmation of a capsular contracture. Muscle spasms are different and can be treated with a muscle relaxer. Best of luck to you.

Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your excellent question. Capsular contracture is a clinical diagnosis and no confirmatory laboratory or radiological test can confirm it. Typically CC is not going to occur in the first weeks after surgery as it would be extremely uncommon and most likely muscle and tissue swelling causes a temporary firmness and alteration in breast appearance. Hope this helps.

Tania Medina
ASPS Int. Surgeon

Hello dear and thank you for your question. Capsular contracture can happen at any time after the surgery however it's very unusual that is going to happen within the first weeks after the surgery. There's no specific test to determined if you have one, a physical exam should be enough. If you have any doubts, please contact your surgeon.

Jon Harrell
ASPS Surgeon

Capsular contracture takes time to develop and is not commonly seen in the early weeks following surgery although it may become noticeable at 6-8 weeks in a small number of patients. A tight implant pocket or significant muscle spasm may create similar findings although spasm usually resolves relatively quickly. Muscle spasm is simply a response of the muscle to trauma whereas a capsular contracture is a pronounced develop of scar tissue which tightens around the implant. Best of Luck Dr Harrell

Paul Parker
ASPS Surgeon
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A diagnosis of capsular contracture is made by physical examination; there isn't any other testing needed for it. It does not usually occur within the first few weeks after surgery but instead over time. Muscle spasm will improve with time and with muscle relaxants. An experienced plastic surgeon should be able to make the distinction between the two.

Curtis Wong
ASPS Surgeon

Contracture diagnosis is a clinical exam confirmed by physical exam. Contractures distort your appearances and eventually can cause pain. 4 weeks after is a bit early for a contracture to occur unless your surgeon used horrible technique and surgeons today do not do that anymore if they are board certified. Contracture symptoms also do not subside... they are progressive.


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