Capsular Contracture: What is it? How do you prevent it? And how do you treat it?

New Jersey Housewife Danielle Staub has 3 really big problems!

1.  She looks like the Evil Queen from Snow White

Danielle Staub eyebrows


2.  She’s completely out of her mind

Danielle staub crazy face, real housewives of new jersey


3.  And she’s got very bad capsular contracture

Danielle staub crazy face, real housewives of new jersey, breast implants, capsular contracture


Sorry for the awful photos, but how else could we show you what capsular contracture looks like?  🙂

What is capsular contracture? How do you prevent it? And how do you fix it?

What is it?

Capsular contracture occurs when the “capsule” of scar tissue that forms naturally around all breast implants (and other types of implants) begins to harden and “contract”. This process distorts the implant, causes it to feel hard and unnatural, and can actually cause pain if it’s severe. It can occur as soon as a few months after surgery, or as late as several years after.

How do you prevent it?

Since we don’t fully understand what causes capsular contracture, there is no reliable form of prevention. Some believe that the type of implant (saline vs silicone) makes a difference, while others believe that contractures result from bleeding during and after the surgery and/or a subclinical bacterial infection. There’s tons of great researchers trying to figure out the real cause, but for now here’s what you can do to decrease your risk of getting a contracture:

  1. Choose silicone implants. There is some evidence to show that silicone implants do better than saline in the long term, but even this is not a guarantee.
  2. Choose the right size. Oversized implants lead to oversized problems, including capsular contracture.
  3. Take it easy after surgery. Doing too much in the first two weeks after surgery increases your risk of bleeding. Sometimes, bleeding can be severe and require a trip back to the operating room to fix the problem. But sometimes the bleeding can be subtle; so much so that you may not even notice anything out of the ordinary. Both of these situations likely increase your risk of getting a contracture, and being overactive after surgery is usually the root cause.
  4. Choose a qualified surgeon who works at an accredited facility. A surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation surgery, and who works at a facility that is certified to be compliant with infection-control protocols, will use appropriate sterile techniques to keep you safe and your risk of contracture minimized.

How do you treat it?

It depends on how severe it is. Minor contractures that are only causing the implants to feel a little harder than normal, but not distorting the shape or causing pain, can be observed until they get worse. More severe contractures can only be fixed with additional surgery. The old implants need to be removed, and the entire implant capsule needs to be taken out (capsulectomy). In essence, the surgeon is trying to “start fresh” by removing everything that could be causing the problem. New silicone implants are inserted, and then you cross your fingers. The problem with capsular contracture is that it tends to recur. In most cases, the chance of having a recurrence is a little better than 50/50. The good news is that the vast majority of women who get breast implants never have to worry about this in the first place!

We think this is bad karma for the nastiest housewife of them all… Ms. Danielle Staub!

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nicholas vendemia on facebook, mas, manhattan aesthetic surgeryNicholas Vendemia, M.D.
Plastic Surgeon, New York City
MAS / Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery

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Photo Credit: HighSocietyPlasticSurgery, TMZ

NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.


Filed under Breast Augmentation, Breast Revision, Celebrities

8 responses to “Capsular Contracture: What is it? How do you prevent it? And how do you treat it?

  1. The excercise I saw my older sisters do when I was a kid was to place your hands one on each arm with your arms folded in front of you. Have your fingers facing towards the elbows. Slide the hands towards the elbows, then pull slightly back to starting position.
    I don’t know how many times as I don’t recall but feel it pull some in the breast tissue area just under the armpit section?

    • MAS

      Massage can be a great way to soften breast implants within a few weeks of the original surgery when they are very swollen, but it doesn’t do much for capsular contracture. A true capsular contracture doesn’t usually get better on it’s own, and most of them require surgery to fix at some point. Some contractures are very mild and don’t cause many problems, but even the mild cases usually progress to cause more severe symptoms. If you saw the last episode of The Real Housewives of NJ, you saw that Danielle was undergoing her 4th surgery to fix her contracture! This is pretty typical for contractures… it has a tendency to come back again and again. Massage certainly can’t hurt, but it probably doesn’t prevent or treat true capsular contracture.

      Thanks for reading, and writing!

  2. julie-ann

    I got severe capsular contracture 2 months after my breast augmention. After trying Singulair, Accolate, and ultra-sound, all with no effect, I discovered a natural herbal product on the internet called BiSecret that saved me. It is a supplement made only of herbs and it cured my contracture.
    It is sold over the internet.
    Hope maybe this will help someone else!
    PS: I really like your site – so much interesting info for women with implants. Thank you!!

  3. MAS

    Thank you for your comment Julie-Ann! We’re so happy to hear that BiSecret worked for you. It’s not uncommon to have no success with medications, and many women often need surgery to fix contractures. It’s awesome that you were able to treat yours medically!

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  5. Pingback: The Top 5 Reasons for Breast Implant Revision Surgery! | Breast Enlargement New York City, Breast Enlargement NYC, Breast Augmentation NYC, Breast Augmentation New York

  6. Im 4 months post op and I have cc. My surgeon says I have to have surgery again.. Im sad. Its gonna cost me 2,500 & I have to wait so I can save money to have it done. What can I do in the mean time to better it and help get it softer.. Also if I massage it will it get better on its own or is surgery a must.. 😦 its also made me depressed. Help thanks

    • MAS

      If it’s only been 4 months, you probably do not have CC. Give it at least 9-12 months of gentle daily massage. If it gets worse, or does not improve, then you may need surgery, but doing it at only 4 months post op is jumping the gun.

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