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Massaging the Breasts After Getting Breast Implants

Posted Jul 24, 2013 by Stephen Greenberg, MD

Massaging the Breasts After Getting Breast ImplantsAfter you undergo breast augmentation surgery, there are a number of instructions that your plastic surgeon will provide that will help ensure that you heal well. By following these instructions for aftercare, you will be able to reduce the chances of adverse side effects and prevent serious complications from occurring.

One particular post-surgical treatment that you may have heard about is massage for the breasts after breast enlargement surgery. Our team would like to examine this issue briefly so that you understand what this involves and why it may be a good idea.

About Breast Augmentation Surgery

First let's briefly mention how breast augmentation is performed since it's relevant to the massage issue. During breast augmentation surgery, an incision will be made through which the implants can be introduced into the breast. In order to accommodate the breast implant, the surgeon creates a small pocket in the breast. This pocket allows the breast implant to fit snugly with the patient's existing breast tissue. The exact position and placement of the breast implant will be determine by the surgeon during the consultation process.

Is it really just a traditional massage for the breast implants?

No. It may seem like breast augmentation patients are simply massaging the breast implants to alleviate discomfort, but there's a potentially more important purpose for this. Instead, the patients are performing special exercises/stretches that help maintain the size and quality of the breast implant pocket. Doing so will ensure the smoothness and softness of the breast implants by preventing capsular contracture from occurring.

What is capsular contracture?

Capsular contracture refers to a hardening of the breast pocket and scar tissue around breast implant. When this happens, the breast implant is compressed, causing the breast to feel too hard and become misshapen. Capsular contracture can be very painful and should be addressed as soon as possible. (Note: The breast implants themselves will not harden. That is an issue related to the scar tissue and the breast pocket.)

How is capsular contracture addressed when it occurs?

Should capsular contracture occur, a cosmetic plastic surgeon will need to perform a secondary breast augmentation surgery. This will involve the removal and replacement of the affected breast implant(s).

What is breast implant pocket massage/exercise like?

Generally these implant displacement exercises will occur about one week after your augmentation surgery. Instructions will vary from patient to patient and from surgeon to surgeon, though when recommended, it is usually best to perform this massage after a warm shower.

Patients will carefully position their breast implants in downward, lateral, and sometimes upward positions, holding that position for a brief count before slowly releasing.

This activity is not meant to be done vigorously or forcefully, and we feel that patients should use their own good judgment when it comes to these stretching and massage exercises. They should not push too hard in such a way that it causes undue discomfort.

Is there actual benefit from breast implant pocket massage/exercise?

There has yet to be a consensus about this, though a number of plastic surgeons do feel that massage and breast pocket exercises can help reduce the chances of capsular contracture occurring.

Learn More About Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

For more information about breast augmentation surgery and how it can be of benefit to you, be sure to contact our New York cosmetic surgery centers today. Our team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible wellness and aesthetic results.

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