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Should I be concerned with a hardened breast?

Q:

I had saline implants in 1984. My right breast has now hardened. Should I be concerned?

A:

Where the breast is concerned, I would suggest that anyone who notices a change be concerned enough to have it checked.  Twenty years is a significantly long time to suddenly have a capsular contracture (scar tissue around the implant and the most common reason for firmness of breasts with implants) develop when it was not present before.  However, there are other reasons why the breast could feel firm.  Among these reasons are a couple of types of breast tumors.  I would, therefore, highly suggest that you see the surgeon that placed the implants or another plastic surgeon in the very near future to determine the cause of the change.

A:

Thank you for your question. The concern, as mentioned by others, when a breast implant becomes firm after several years is that you may be forming a capsular contracture which is scar tissue around the implant. There are also other less common possibilities. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an examination. There are several newer techniques available to correct a capsular contracture if that is what has happened.

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