Can Breasts Harden After Implants?

Breast augmentation procedures are performed on millions of women every year, and easily rank as one of the most popular plastic surgery operations today. Implants have long been the go-to solution for women wanting to increase their cup size, and thanks to advancements in modern technology, procedures are safer and the materials used are of better quality.

What was once only available in pure saline and regulated by the FDA for safety reasons for many years, has since evolved to include silicon and other new age implant materials. Despite the significant reduction in breast augmentation negative side effects, it is important to note that no form of invasive surgery is without its risks.

A common concern raised by many current and prospective breast implant surgery patients is whether the woman’s breasts will harden after the procedure has been completed. While a degree of swelling and tenderness are obviously to be expected, many people worry about the potential long-term implications, like when and whether breast firmness will restore to its normal state.

When should you call your doctor?

Outside of standard, post-procedural symptoms, sustained breast hardness is not OK and should be checked by your doctor. The condition, known in the medical profession as capsular contracture, can occur anytime after an implant operation, with some patients even experiencing it up to a few years following their appointment.

Since it is unnatural to inject or insert any foreign material/object into one’s skin, it is the body’s normal response to reject it, albeit to varying degrees. In most cases, the surrounding tissue adapts to the implant, with swelling eventually subsiding within a couple of weeks.

While the creation of fibrous capsules around implants are perfectly normal, there are times when these formations undergo contracture. The result is notable breast discomfort, pain, as well as distortion.

Since this problem can happen at any time and often develops gradually, it is important for implant patients to be aware of the symptoms and available treatment options. Checking for changes in the size and shape of one’s breasts, in addition to increased firmness, can prevent contracture from becoming worse.

Fortunately, the condition is often easily treatable via massage therapy, although some patients may require surgical intervention to remove the capsule. The latter is performed by a procedure called capsulectomy, and the success rate is very high.

Implant leaks are the first thing a lot of women assume when they have breast soreness and hardening, and while this indeed can happen, more often than not it is a negative interaction with the patient’s body, as opposed to a product defect, that is responsible.

Please note that a minimal amount of silicone leakage is common and definitely not something to worry about. The best thing you can do if you suspect there is a problem is schedule an exam with your doctor. He or she will likely use an MRI to check for a rupture, and proceed with the required treatment.

I am Kelly Brown, a medical student who is fanatical about exploring new ideas in the health industry. It has been my greatest dream and a wish made over the shooting star to be a doctor someday and I can’t explain my joy as I am getting closer to achieving my goal. I love the way plastic surgery transforms a person into something that he/she has been wishing to be like. I have a long way to go in getting hold of the subject in a more profound context.

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