Should I Massage my Breasts After Breast Implant Surgery?

Doctor Answers (35)

Implant displacement exercises help settle implants under the muscle

+9

All breast augmentations that I perform are subpectoral (under the muscle). After surgery, patients look excessively full at the top of their breasts because the muscle tightens after surgery, and the implants take time to "settle" into place as the skin relaxes and stretches and the muscle also stretches to accommodate the added volume to the chest. The body forms a "capsule" around the implants which is a thin layer around implant (which is a process the body does to any foreign object that is not living tissue) and that takes about 3 weeks to form.

The purpose of the massaging or implant displacement exercises which I commmence usually 1 to 3 days after surgery is to get the implant moving to some degree as the capsule is forming. This in term helps prevent capsular contraction and actually aids in accurate placement of breast implants and also heps prevent "high riding" implants which occur in my opinion more frequently in patients with well developed musculature that do engage in an active massive or implant displacement program. Sometimes massaging is necessary for up to 3 months. Some implants fall fast as soon as 3 weeks, others can take a bit more time and up to 3 months. It is usual for one implant to "drop" and soften before the other.

I hope this helps!


Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast Implant Massage or Displacement Exercises are Very Important

+7

Of course ask your doctor. However in my practice I begin massage of the Breast Implant, called Breast Implant Displacement Exercises, as soon as possible after surgery.

Massage helps the implant settle into a natural looking position.

Even more important, in my opinion, is that Breast Displacement Exercises stretch the normal capsule that surrounds the Implant and keeps the pocket for the Implant large and roomy. This helps prevent capsular contraction and firmness of the Breast Implant.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Very important to massage breasts after surgery

+5

Several measures can be taken to prevent capsular contracture. First is by the surgeon who will create a pocket slightly larger than the implant under the muscle. This allows room for a thin layer of scar tissue to form (which is a natural part of the healing process).

After surgery, breast implant massage is one of the best ways to prevent capsular contracture and keep the breasts soft. By squeezing the breasts in different directions, the implant moves around in the pocket, preventing too much scar tissue from forming.

It is typically recommended to start massaging about one week after breast augmentation. Your surgeon will let you know if it is alright to start massaging and will demonstrate how you should massage the breasts during your post-op appointment. To keep breasts soft, it is recommended to continue massaging even after the breasts have healed completely.

Tarick K. Smaili, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

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Massaging breast implants after surgery

+5

Breast augmentation involves creating a pocket, either over or below the chest muscle. After your surgery, your body will try to absorb the impalnt, since it is a foreign material. Since it cannot, with time, your body will form a thin "shell" around the implant, essentially ignoring it. This happens with ALL foreign materials and is a normal process. Implant massage after breast surgery is important to maintain the pocket open, until the body has formed the shell around the implant. This typically takes 3 months. If massage is not performed religiously (especially during the first three months), there is a higher chance of the pocket tightening, causing the implant to look and feel unattractive.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast Implant Massage is a MUST

+4

I ask all of my breast augmentation clients to begin implant massage 36 hours after surgery. Although there is very little science behind this, anecdotal experience shows me that my patients who do not massage their implants tend to have a higher risk for high-riding implants and capsular contracture.

In addition, I have all of my patients wear a breast band for 4 weeks after their surgery to encourage implant settling. As for duration of the implant massage, it instruct them to perform massage at least 10 times per day until their implants have completely settled. For some patients, that may be a week...for others, it may take several months. Whatever the time frame, massage is a simple, straightforward way to help assure optimal results following breast augmentation.

I hope that helps!

Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Massaging breasts after implant surgery is debatable

+4

There is debate about this among plastic surgeons. In general, it might help for the reasons given by the other doctors. So basically it cannot hurt and might help. That being said, I do not advise massage for patients with anatomic/tear drop implants. We want the tissues to firmly adhere to the surface of the implant, locking it into the correct orientation, and massage might disrupt this. Hope this helps.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Massage or not after breast augmentation

+3

It seems that most surgeons here are in favor of massaging the breasts after augmentation. I am not one of them, I do not recommend massage to my patients. To my knowledge there are no studies supporting the idea that massage helps the results of breast augmentation. Theoretically, it may stretch the capsule as it is forming and hep prevent capsular contracture. It may also help reduce the initial swelling depending upon the massage techniques used.

Since there is no proof that massage makes any difference at all, I do not recommend it to my patients mostly because it hurts to do the massage. They are welcome to do the massage if they like, but since there is no evidence that it makes a difference, I don't recommend it. Basically, it falls under the category of, it won't hurt the outcome and might help it so why not? To which I answer, because it hurts that patients. The healing after breast augmentation is the same whether you use massage or not, so I don't compel my patients to massage. Surgeons that feel they have seen a difference using massage feel differently.

I hope this info helps!

Adam Rubinstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Massaging your breast implants

+3

Opinion regarding implant massage varies. I begin having my patients move the implants around in the pocket on the day after surgery. I make the pocket larger than the implant, and use this massage technique to have the implant push on the sides of the pocket (particularly in the upper pocket) in order to prevent the capsule from contracting around the implant.

Adam David Lowenstein, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast Massage after Augmentation helps to keep Breasts Soft

+2

My practice routine for patients is to perform breast massage - by displacing the implants in all directions forcefully as soon as it is comfortable to do so. This recommendation is only for smooth implants and not needed for textured implants in my opinion.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Yes, massage is important and technique matters

+2

I evaluate my patients after surgery to determine when they are ready for massage.  When ready, I do feel breast massage is important to help keep the implants mobile within the breast pocket.  I show my patients how to gently massage once or twice a day for just a few minutes. I ask them to do this for the rest of their lives to prevent scar build-up around the implant and thus, keep a soft, natural look. It is best to work with your board certified plastic surgeon to evaluate when you are ready to start massage after surgery and help you with the right technique for your body.
 

Christine Rodgers, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.