Breast implants are a popular cosmetic procedure that has helped countless women achieve their desired bust size and shape. However, there are instances when the implants can become hard, causing discomfort and a change in appearance. This can be a concerning issue for many women who have undergone breast implant surgery. In this blog post, we will break down the common causes of hard breast implants and discuss the potential solutions, including breast implant removal and replacement. Read on to learn more about this common complication and what you can do to address it. Board-certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Farah Naz Khan provides breast implant removal and replacement to patients in Dallas, Plano, Texas, and surrounding communities.
Understanding Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture is one of the most common causes of hard breast implants. It occurs when scar tissue, known as the capsule, forms around the implant and begins to tighten or contract. This tightening can cause the breast to feel hard, firm, and uncomfortable.
The exact cause of capsular contracture is not fully understood, but there are several factors that may contribute to its development. These can include bacterial contamination during surgery, bleeding, hematoma formation, or even a genetic predisposition. It is important to note that capsular contracture can occur at any time, even years after the initial surgery.
In some cases, capsular contracture may be mild and only cause minimal discomfort. However, in more severe cases, it can lead to significant pain, distortion of the breast shape, and a noticeable change in appearance.
If you suspect that you may be experiencing capsular contracture, it is important to consult with a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast implant revision. They will be able to evaluate your situation and determine the best course of action. Treatment options for capsular contracture may include medication, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, or surgical intervention, such as removing and replacing the implant or removing the scar tissue.
In summary, understanding capsular contracture is crucial for women who have undergone breast implant surgery. It is a common complication that can cause discomfort and change in appearance. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Other Possible Causes of Hardened Breast Implants
While capsular contracture is the most common cause of hard breast implants, there are other factors that can contribute to this issue. One possible cause is implant rupture or leakage. When a saline implant ruptures, it deflates and can cause the breast to feel harder than usual. Silicone implants, on the other hand, may have a silent rupture, where the implant leaks silicone gel without any obvious signs. This can also lead to the hardening of the breast.
Another potential cause is infection. If bacteria enter the implant pocket during surgery or at any time afterwards, it can lead to an infection. In response to the infection, the body may create more scar tissue, causing the implant to feel hard. Infections can be treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, implant removal and replacement may be necessary.
Lastly, excessive trauma or injury to the breast can result in hardening of the implants. This can occur from impact or compression on the breast, such as a car accident or sports-related injury. In such cases, it is important to consult a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast implant revision to assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Symptoms and Identification of Hardened Breast Implants
If you have breast implants and are experiencing hardness in your breasts, it is important to identify the symptoms and understand whether or not your implants have become hardened. Here are some common symptoms and signs to look out for:
- Firmness and Hardness: One of the primary symptoms of hardened breast implants is a significant change in the texture of the breasts. Instead of the natural softness, the breasts may feel firm, hard, and less pliable. This can be quite noticeable, and you may feel discomfort or tightness in your chest area.
- Change in Appearance: Another sign of hardened breast implants is a visible change in the shape or appearance of your breasts. They may appear rounder or distorted, and you may notice a lack of movement when you touch them. This change in appearance can be alarming and affect your self-confidence.
- Discomfort or Pain: Hardened breast implants can also cause discomfort or even pain. You may experience aching or throbbing sensations in the breast area. This discomfort can be persistent or intermittent and may be accompanied by tightness or pressure in the chest.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast implant revision. They will be able to evaluate your situation, diagnose the cause of the hardening, and recommend appropriate treatment options. Remember, it is always better to seek medical advice and address the issue sooner rather than later.
Treatment Options for Hardened Breast Implants
Once you’ve identified that your breast implants have become hard, you may be wondering what your treatment options are. The appropriate course of action will depend on the cause of the hardening and the severity of your symptoms.
One potential treatment option for hardened breast implants is medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids, may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort. These medications can help soften the breast tissue and alleviate any tightness or hardness.
In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. This can involve removing and replacing the implant, as well as removing any scar tissue that has formed. This procedure, known as breast implant revision surgery, aims to restore the natural softness and appearance of the breasts.
It’s important to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast implant revision to determine the best treatment option for you. They will be able to evaluate your specific situation and recommend the most appropriate course of action. Keep in mind that early intervention is key to addressing the issue and preventing further complications.
Remember, each case is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. Your plastic surgeon will provide personalized recommendations based on your individual circumstances.
When to Consult Your Surgeon
If you are experiencing any symptoms of hardened breast implants, it is crucial to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast implant revision. Don’t wait until the discomfort becomes unbearable or the appearance of your breasts becomes significantly distorted. Early intervention is key to addressing the issue and preventing further complications.
A good rule of thumb is to consult your surgeon if you notice any changes in the texture or appearance of your breasts. If your breasts feel significantly firmer or harder than before, it’s time to make an appointment. Additionally, if you experience discomfort, pain, or aching in the breast area, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.
It’s also important to consult your surgeon if you notice a visible change in the shape or movement of your breasts. If they appear rounder or distorted, or if they lack the natural softness and pliability, it’s best to get a professional opinion.
Remember, each case is unique, and only a qualified plastic surgeon can provide personalized recommendations based on your individual circumstances. They will be able to evaluate your situation, diagnose the cause of the hardening, and recommend the most appropriate treatment options for you. So, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation and take the necessary steps to address the issue of hard breast implants.
Contact Board Certified Dallas Female Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Farah Khan to Schedule a Consultation
Taking patients from in and around Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Garland, Mesquite, Carrollton, Irving, Frisco, Texas and more.