Toronto, ON

Can Firmness Differ Between Two Breasts?

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By Jerome Edelstein, MD

A breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure designed to enhance the size and shape of the breasts using breast implants or fat grafting. A variety of women of various ages choose this surgery to restore the appearance of their breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding, or enhance their naturally small chest. Although the vast majority of patients are satisfied with the results, in rare instances, capsular contracture can occur for those with breast implants and results in differing firmness between the two breasts. Many actions are taken by your surgeon and by you to help reduce the risk, and this should be discussed during your consultation with your plastic surgeon.

What Is Capsular Contracture?

Soon after breast implants are inserted, your body’s natural response is to create thin scar capsules around them. While in most cases, this scar tissue does not pose a problem, in rare instances, the capsule thickens as excessive scar tissue forms surrounding the implant. In these cases, the affected breast becomes hard, impacting the feel of the breast and potentially causing pain and discomfort to the patient due to compression of the implant. Although this complication typically occurs within the first year following breast augmentation surgery, it is possible for capsular contracture to develop at any time.While the cause of capsular contracture is not clear, studies indicate that it may be a result of a number of factors including the presence of excessive blood in the breast pocket (a hematoma), an implant ‘seeded’ with bacteria, the presence of microscopic particles within the breast pocket, or injury to the muscle or breast tissue. However, capsular contracture can develop without any of the aforementioned causes. An experienced and skilled plastic surgeon will take a number of measures to reduce the risk of capsular contracture during surgery, including reducing the risk of infection or bleeding.

What Can Be Done About Capsular Contracture?

If capsular contracture is detected quickly and is not painful, medications, supplements, and breast massage can be used to help reduce the breast’s firmness. If, however, the capsule thickens significantly, it may be necessary to undergo additional surgery. In some cases, a capsulectomy can be performed to remove the scar tissue and restore the appearance of the breast. This relatively simple procedure can often be completed more quickly than a primary breast augmentation. In its later stages, the procedure to restore the breast can be more complex.Although rare, capsular contracture can occur at any point following a breast augmentation, negatively impacting the results. When you select a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, you will greatly reduce this risk and help to ensure that you are satisfied with your results. To learn more and to determine your eligibility for a breast augmentation, please contact our clinic to schedule a consultation with Dr. Edelstein or Dr. Jindal, leading Toronto breast augmentation plastic surgeons dedicated to helping patients achieve their goals in a safe and comfortable manner.

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