Capsular contracture is a serious breast complication that requires surgery to address. It occurs when hardened scar tissue develops around a breast implant, distorting the chest and causing chronic pain and discomfort.  

Compassionate care you can trust 

A capsular contracture diagnosis can be devastating. Not only is it a painful condition that can distort the appearance of your breasts, but it requires an additional implant removal or exchange surgery to address the complication. 

At Austin Face & Body, our breast surgeons can safely remove the problematic implant and scar tissue, restoring health and comfort to the area. From there, we can enhance your breasts with implant replacement surgery, a breast lift, or a fat transfer breast augmentation.

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Signs of capsular contracture

  • Firmness or tightness in the breasts
  • Chronic pain 
  • Reduced range of motion
  • A change in the shape or position of the affected breast

Am I a candidate?

Our breast surgeons will confirm your candidacy and the extent of your capsular contracture during your private consultation at our Austin office. We generally assess this complication on a grading scale, with grades III and IV requiring surgery:

  • Grade I: Breasts appear and feel soft and natural.
  • Grade II: Breasts look normal but feel firm.
  • Grade III: Breasts are distorted and feel firm.
  • Grade IV: Breasts are distorted and feel hard and painful.

The procedure: 

What to expect

Capsular contracture is treated by removing the problematic implant and capsule with a procedure called a capsulectomy. It is performed under general anesthesia, and there are a few different techniques your surgeon may employ, depending on your anatomy and the severity of your symptoms. 

To begin, we will re-open the original incision. From there, we will perform one of the following procedures:

  1. Total capsulectomy. During this surgery, your surgeon will remove your breast implant and the entire capsule that surrounds it. First, we will make an incision in the capsule to remove the implant. Then, we will extract the capsule.
  2. En bloc capsulectomy. This approach is similar to a total capsulectomy because the implant and the entire capsule are removed. However, with this approach, they will be removed at the same time, without an incision in the capsule. This is a higher-risk, more complex technique, and is often the ideal approach if you have a ruptured breast implant or breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
  3. Subtotal capsulectomy. This is known as a partial capsulectomy, during which only a portion of the capsule is removed. It requires a smaller incision when compared to a total or en bloc capsulectomy. 

Your consultation:

Restoring your health

During your consultation at our Austin office, we will compose a custom surgical plan designed to resolve your condition and restore your health. Based on the extent of your symptoms, we will walk you through the options available: total capsulectomy, en bloc capsulectomy and subtotal capsulectomy. After this meeting, you will know exactly what to expect from your procedure, including what your breasts will look like after surgery.


Your recovery will depend on the type of capsulectomy performed, the complexity of the surgery, and what additional aesthetic procedures were performed simultaneously. In general, most of our Austin patients can expect a recovery period of approximately four to six weeks. During this time, some swelling, pain, and bruising are to be expected. Our office will provide pain medication to help you manage any discomfort. We will also offer detailed guidance on how to move, shower, and sleep to ensure an optimal healing process. 

After implant removal:

What are your aesthetic options?

Once your breast implant and capsule are removed, you have a number of enhancement options available to you. 

  • Implant replacement. Many women choose to replace their damaged implants with new ones. In this case, you may choose implants in a different size, shape, texture or material. 
  • Breast lift. If you want to simply remove your implants, a breast lift may be advised to address drooping skin and restore a perky chest.
  • Fat transfer breast augmentation. If you want to enhance the size of your breasts again, but don’t want to have new implants placed, a fat transfer can be an ideal option. One of our surgeons will perform liposuction on another area of your body with excess fat, such as the tummy, thighs, or buttocks. We will then clean and purify the fat cells, before injecting them into your breasts to shape and enhance the area. 


Your investment will depend primarily on the complexity of your surgery and the severity of your condition. Another factor influencing the cost will be whether you simply remove your implants and capsule, or choose to undergo a simultaneous implant replacement, a fat transfer breast augmentation, or a breast lift.  

Providers who perform Capsular Contracture Treatment at Austin Face & Body

Dr. Chris Schneider

Dr. Chris Schneider is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, who also specializes in microsurgery. He is a native Texan who is proud to return home to the Lone Star State after nearly a decade of intense surgical training.

Dr. Chris Schneider »

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