Capsular Contracture Treatment

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue forms and hardens around an implant. Scar tissue formation is expected during the healing process of breast augmentation and all implant surgery. However, treatment will be necessary if the tissue gets extremely hard and distorts the breast or area with an implant. Although it doesn't have direct health implications, it can be uncomfortable and painful. It is only an emergency if the implant ruptures.

Doctors calculate the severity of the capsular contracture on the Baker scale. In grade 1, breasts are still soft to the touch and look natural, while in grade 2, they feel a little firmer but still look normal. Grade 3 is when the breast starts to firm up and distort in shape. Grade 4 is the highest, where the patient will begin to feel pain in the breast. Grade 3 and 4 will  require surgery to replace the implants.

There are two primary techniques used during the surgery: capsulotomy and capsulectomy.

Capsulotomy increases the space around the implant, helping to ease the pain. During capsulectomy, surgeons remove the implant from the scar tissue, excise all of most of the scar capsule, and replace a new implant if requested. 

Non-surgical methods of treating capsular contracture are generally not effective.

There are some ways that a doctor or surgeon can help to prevent capsular contracture. Patients are screened for health problems that may increase the risk of capsular contracture. It is also essential to use an implant size proportionate to the patient's breast tissue. A too large implant can increase the risk of complications. Women with smaller breasts should  increase their chest size in stages. There should be minimal handling of the implant before surgery as bacteria could infect it before placement. Doctors also recommend placing the implant under the muscle to reduce future risks and complications.
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
0-1 day
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
2 weeks

How do you fix Capsular Contracture?

Dr. Howard Webster, from Melbourne, Australia, explains capsular contraction and the issues it can cause. He talks about social and comfort issues. He explains how the procedure has changed for the benefit of the patient.

What Should I do for a Capsular Contracture? Dr. Youn's Daily Vlog

Dr. Youn uses this episode of his daily vlog to explain capsular contracture. He discusses a patient that developed contractures after having implants put in. He explains how contractures are graded and what is done to correct them.

Avoiding a Capsular Contracture | Dr. Robert Wilcox | Top10MD

Dr. Robert Wilcox describes the defeat of capsular contracture as the "holy grail" of breast augmentation surgery. He explains how these complications occur and gives ideas about why. He talks about the importance of early detection.