The purpose of breast massage after augmentation exercises is to keep the scar tissue that forms around your implants following breast augmentation as soft and pliable as possible. By performing these exercises as described, you can help soften the internal scar, minimize the risk of significant capsular contracture and maximize the likelihood of a soft, natural feel and appearance to your breast. However, is breast massage necessary?
BREAST MASSAGE IS NOT NECESSARY AFTER BREAST AUGMENTATION
The development of capsular contracture is a complication of breast augmentation. There are many theories as to why capsular contracture happens, and our Plastic Surgeons pay close attention to the research on all. One theory that may contribute to capsular contracture is blood collection in the body (called a hematoma), leading to scarring. For this reason, Dr. Edelstein developed a “bloodless breast augmentation” technique where he directly observes what he’s doing at all times during your surgery using a fiberoptic breast retractor (an instrument with a light on it that lets you look inside). He also uses a long cautery forceps, not only allowing him to open the space (pocket) for the implant, but also grab and cauterize any blood vessels so there is no bleeding.
Dr. Edelstein and our Plastic Surgeons do not recommend breast massage for about a week to 10 days after surgery because your body is still recovering from the trauma of surgery. It is still “raw” inside, and massage may cause bleeding, increasing the risk of capsular contracture. It also hurts!
When textured implants are used, it is also important that the texturing on the implant integrates, or attaches to, your own tissues. Massage will interfere with this and could lead to fluid collections called seromas, or rotation of a tear-drop (anatomic) implant.
BREAST MASSAGE INSTRUCTIONS
Your Plastic Surgeon will let you know if you need to massage your breasts after your surgery. Since the rate of capsular contracture in Dr. Edelstein’s practice is low after breast augmentation, you do not need to do any massage unless he tells you so. 99% of his patients are advised not to massage, a recommendation he has been giving for over eight years. If you are instructed to do massage exercises, it would be a little later on in your recovery so that things can get a chance to settle and tissues are allowed to strengthen a bit.
It is important to remember that a slow steady stretch is more effective than a quick jerky movement. Don’t worry about injuring the implant, you cannot cause a rupture with these breast exercises.
Perform these exercise 2 times per day after your breast augmentation procedure.
Your surgeon will keep a close eye on you. If your surgeon thinks that one breast is not softening normally, only then will a treatment regime that includes massage, prescription medication, and several supplements be recommended.