Capsular fibrosis – causes, complaints & therapy

capsular contracture

Under the term capsular contracture describes the physician a complication that can occur only in the context of a breast augmentation in a woman. The body creates a common immune response that causes a capsule to form around the implant. If the educated capsule hardens, the physician speaks of capsular contracture.

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What is a capsular fibrosis??

After breast augmentation, the implant encapsulates – it forms around the foreign body an increasingly hardening, painful shell. This complication refers to the physician as Kapselfibrose. This occurs only when the body repels the implant or the immune system as "not natural" diagnosed.

If the capsule hardens, the woman suffers from very severe pain. Furthermore, a breast hardening occurs. Even visible deformations can sometimes occur due to capsular contracture. There is also the danger that the implant, through the capsular contracture, ruptures. However, new and improved implants as well as gentler surgical techniques reduce this complication.


However, there are sometimes factors that promote capsular contracture quite well. Above all, smooth-walled breast implants should favor capsular contracture. About 30 percent of all women who receive such an implant suffer from capsular contracture. Even the type of surgery can sometimes trigger such a complication. If the physician places the implant above the pectoral muscle, there is a higher chance that the implant will harden. If you are under the pectoral muscle, there is little or no chance of such a complication occurring.

Symptoms and course

Typical symptoms of capsular contracture:

Classic symptoms are primarily severe chest pain. Furthermore, the patient complains of a feeling of tightness in the chest and also notices slippage of the implant. Also, the woman feels one "capsule" in the chest; Breast asymmetry and wrinkling is also possible. However, capsular contracture can also go relatively unnoticed, especially if it is painless. Depending on the severity of capsular contracture, a drug treatment or surgery is necessary.


The physician divides the capsular contracture in four stages. At level 1, the breast is only slightly hardened. There are no external appearance patterns that indicate a complication. A diagnosis is made by means of an ultrasound device and by scanning the breast. Also at level 2, the diagnosis and examination is made with an ultrasound device and the scanning. At stage 2 of capsular contracture, the woman may already complain of mild pain or feel a sense of tightness in the chest. However, an external deformation of the breast can be seen from level 3 onwards. Here, the patient already complains of relatively severe pain and also of a strong feeling of tightness.

At stage 4 of capsular contracture there is complete hardening of the breast. The breast is also touch-sensitive, deformed, and the patient complains of relatively severe pain. Whether the so-called Kapselfibrose is associated with a silicone disease is not yet clear. However, this combination is quite possible.


As a rule, capsular contracture is a complication. In most cases, those affected are reliant on another surgical intervention to alleviate the symptoms and avoid further complaints. The patients suffer primarily from severe pain in the breasts. The breasts themselves can stretch, whereby the implant can also slip. These movements of the implant cause severe pain, especially during movements. In the chest small capsules form.

Patients also suffer from wrinkles and breast asymmetry, resulting in significantly reduced patient aesthetics. As a result, inferiority complexes or reduced self-esteem occur, causing those affected to suffer from depression and other mental health problems. The further treatment depends strongly on the severity of capsular contracture. In some cases, the complaints can be treated with the help of medication. However, complete removal of the implants may be necessary to avoid further discomfort. The patient’s life expectancy is usually not adversely affected by capsular contracture.

Treatment and therapy

If the patient suffers from a stage 1 capsular fibrosis, this is ultimately not in need of treatment. The doctor prescribed here a drug therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs. If the woman complains about mild complaints such as mild pain or a slight feeling of tension, ultrasound treatments and massages often help. Even at level 2, such treatment is possible. However, if the physician diagnoses stage 3 of capsular fibrosis, surgery is inevitable. Depending on the severity of the capsular contracture, the physician must remove or blast the capsule. If capsular fibrosis has progressed greatly, the physician often even has to remove the entire implant.


If the physician places the implant under the muscle, it simultaneously reduces the risk of the patient contracting a capsular fibrosis. Also, a gentle surgical technique may help to prevent capsular contracture. Furthermore, wearing a compression bra is an advantage. This ensures that the implants remain where they should be and prevent slipping. Thus, a possible Kapselfibrose is also prevented.

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Christina Cherry
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