I had breast augmentation surgery 2.5 weeks and have mild tenting. Can I do anything pro-active to heal it or prevent further stretching?
How Can I Improve or Prevent Tenting After Breast Augmentation?
Doctor Answers (10)
Stretching of the skin over the sternum?
In very small patients with tight skin of the breasts large implants can cause stretching of the skin over the sternum. This is worse in the patient with a fairly loose attacment of the sternum to the skin. Is that what you are referring to as tenting? If so, it can be a very difficult thing to treat, kind of like symmastia. I have seen a patient with a similar deformity from an augmentation done years ago. We gained some improvement with a very small incision over the area anchoring the "tented" skin to the sternum with suture (very small incision in this area which is prone to very bad scarring). This improvement was moderate at best.
Certainly, at 2 1/2 weeks it is too early to consider anything of the sort. This will probably get better with time alone. You may at this point consider compression with a 2" ace bandage crossed over your chest between your breasts with 4x4's putting compression on the area. It may not help, but wouldn't hurt to try to speed things up.
Can you clarify "tenting"?
I have been doing this for over 20 years and have never heard the word "tenting" to describe something in the early postop phase. Can you be more specific or send a photo please?
Tenting from breast implants
The tenting that can happen early after surgery may be from overstretched pockets or from implants that are too larger. It may just be temporary.
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Tenting after breast augmentation not a good sign.
I don't believe there is anything you can do. Tenting is caused either by breast implants that are too large, or by how the implant pockets were made. Hopefully it is temporary.
Mild tenting after breast augmentation tends to go away
Mild tenting should go away with time. Only in really large implant cases or really droopy breasts does it tend to stay to any extent. Have your surgeon take a look at your next visit.
This should resolve
In most cases when the skin is tight and stretched between the breasts, it will resolve as your skin gives way to the tension. It is important to not pick an implant that is too wide where is exherts too much tension which in rare cases can lead to the pockets communicating. You best bet for your reassurance is to discuss it with your plastic surgeon.
Tenting after augmentation will resolve without specific treatment
It is not entirely abnormal to get some swelling between the breasts following a breast augmentation. This is due to fluid accumulation in the area and will go away without any specific treatment.
Tenting over the sternum
I have found that wearing an underwire bra with the cups cut out to help separation of the breasts and gently pressure in the area to be useful. Occasionally I add a thin "hour-glass" shaped piece of topifoam to apply pressure to the sterum and help separate the breasts.
Alterantively, wearing a 4' ace wrap in an figure-of-8 fashion can also apply pressure to the area.
Any bra which pushes the breasts together may result in increased swelling which makes the "tenting" worse.
It may take several weeks for the swelling to resolve.
Breast Implant Stabilizer for tenting
The loss of the normal concavity between your breasts may just be an early post-operative finding. Your Plastic Surgeon should be able to advise you on this. Use of a breast implant stabilizer with a spacer over the breast bone/sternum should be considered, and make sure the cup size of any bra you wear is big enough to accommodate your new breast size.
You are pretty early in the post op and in some cases where a larger implant is placed this happens, specially with all the swelling.
I would talk to your doctor and if it is significant he may place you into a bra that has a separater down the middle.
Hope that helps.
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