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How May Times a Day Are You Supposed to Massage Your Breasts After Augmentation, and for How Long Each Time?

I had breast augmentation on the 14th of July so it has been a little over 2 weeks.

Doctor Answers (18)

How May Times a Day Are You Supposed to Massage Your Breasts After Augmentation, and for How Long Each Time?

+2

Great question and look at all the differing opinions, makes for an interactive venue. I'm more realistic as to implant massage or exercising. What do I mean? Well if you don't do them and get a capsular contracture or fibrosis, than you will be one of those - 'what if' patients. You know, what if I had done the massages would I be with this issue? Whether there is true science behind the concept of massaging or not, it seems to me after 34 years of implanting it is better to do than not. As for when - I start from 1 week following and recommend for 3 months. Just my way of practicing. Enjoyed this discussion. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Displacement Exercises for Smooth Breast Implants

+2

The displacement of breast implants is recommended to reduce the risk of capsular contracture. Displacement of breast implants is done for smooth surfaced saline- and silicone gel-filled implants; it is not recommended for breast implants with a textured surface. Smooth breast implants will move freely within the pocket, while textured surface implants do not move either because of increased friction caused by the texturing, or tissue in-growth into the textured surface.

I have my patients begin implant displacement exercises one week following surgery. The acute pain of surgery has subsided by then so the displacement can be done a bit more comfortably.

>> Place your hand flat over the central breast and press the implant inward towards the chest wall. Hold it there for a few seconds.

>> Lift each implant up; with your hand under the implant, slide it up the chest wall slowly, pushing it up towards the clavicle. Hold it there for a few seconds.

>> Push the implant medially; with your hand on the lateral part of the implant, slide it towards the sternum. Hold it there for a few seconds.

>> Push the implant laterally; with your hand over the medial breast, push the implant laterally. Hold it there for a few seconds.

The right implant can be displaced with the left hand, and vice versa. The displacement should be performed slowly and steadily with moderate force. Each displacement should be performed ten times.

Initially the displacement of the implant will be somewhat limited. But as swelling subsides, the tissues stretch, and the implant settles, the implants will move more easily in the pocket. Pain may limit your ability to move the implants initially, but as this subsides you will be able to displace the implants much more readily.

I only have patients push implants down if I feel they are not settling as intended.

Perform these exercises three times daily for six months following surgery, then two times daily for the next six months, and then once daily thereafter.

Best wishes.

Web reference: http://www.drdembny.com/

Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Massage after Breast Augmentation

+1

Here are my criteria for massage after breast augmentation:

I am a big advocate of breast massage.  I like to wait until the first postoperative visit to begin massage for three reasons.  
1.  I do not want excess tension on the fresh incision, which can cause wound healing problems
2.  Massage will increase soreness and I want to get patients off pain medication as quickly and safely as possible.
3.  Early massage can increase the risk of bleeding, which is the number 1 cause of capsular contracture/scar formation.

For this reason, I begin massage therapy at the first visit, which is 4-7 days postop.  I then establish a regimine of 3 minutes of massage 3 times a day for 3 months.
I do prefer a bra, especially in physically active patients, as I find it helps prevent the implant from dropping too much and causing implant malposition.

Web reference: http://www.drpaulgill.com

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Massaging Post Breast Augmentation

+1

Every surgeon is a little different on their personal preference with breast massaging post augmentation.  I recommend to my patients that they begin breast massage 2 weeks post surgery.  Once a day for 3-4 minutes is sufficient.  I usually recommend working into a daily routine like while you're in the shower.

Web reference: http://www.hallplasticsurgery.com/breast-implants-enlargement-austin.html

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Implant massage after augmentation

+1

This is a controversial topic since some surgeons dont even believe it is necessary to perform any massage at all. I advise my patients to start implant massage a couple times a day, only in the occasioanl case where I think one or both implants are slitghly too high after surgery and this to help gravity settle them down. In patients with well situated implants i do not necessarily recommend any massage of the impants and pocket.

Web reference: http://www.hallakplasticsurgery.com/breastaugmentation.html

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Massaging their breasts

+1

Massaging breast post a breast augmentation surgery is physician dependant. I prefer my patients start gently massaging their breast at 2 weeks post surgery for 2-3 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Massage after Breast Augmentation

+1

Thank you for the question and pictures.

Since you have had the procedure I would recommend that you follow your plastic surgeon's recommendations.  Most  likely he/she has recommended massage of the breast implants  which is felt by many plastic surgeons to be helpful in keeping the breast implant soft.  if you have questions about the  specific technique  your plastic surgeon recommends then address those with him/her during your next visit. Otherwise, I'm afraid you will be confused or overly anxious with online consultants' recommendations.

Best wishes.

Web reference: http://www.poustiplasticsurgery.com/Procedures/procedure_breastaugmentation.htm

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 628 reviews

Massaging after Breast Implants

+1

I recommend to my patients to massage 2-3 times a day for 5 minutes starting 1 week after surgery until they are in a good position which is usually around 1 month. 

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Massaging Breast Implants

+1

I no longer ask my patients to massage their breast implants although I did do so routinely several years ago.  I currently place almost all implants below the muscle and I feel that the action of the overlying muscle more or less naturally "massages" the implants without the need for any additional external massage.  Since adopting this philosophy, I very rarely see a significant capsular contracture.  This again indicates to me that there is no need for external massage although I have no problem with patients doing massage if they wish.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

How to massage breasts after augmentation.

+1

Massage is the wrong term--Implant movement exercises help keep the surgical pocket bigger than the implant.

As seen in the replies, some plastic surgeons feel that breast "massage" is not necessary, but most experienced breast surgeons feel that implant movement exercises help to keep the submuscular pocket (created to enclose the implant) larger than the implant, reducing the likelihood (or severity) of capsular contracture.

Capsular contracture is tightening of the scar capsule around the implant, making the breast(s) feel firm. Without implant movement "exercises" or "massage," the scar your body forms around your breast implants is exactly the same size as your implants--if your capsule contracts even a tiny bit (and most scars tend to contract as time goes by, perhaps stretching later as they mature), you get firmness that ranges from slightly firm to "rock-hard." Baker 1 capsules are somewhat firm; Baker 2 capsules are more firm; Baker 3 capsules are quite firm but without visible distortion; and Baker 4 capsules are hard and visibly deformed.

BTW, this answer assumes smooth implants (saline or silicone), since textured implants, like the teardrop "anatomic" or the "gummy bear" implants, are designed to adhere to the tissues and NOT move. This is because shaped implants rely on being in a specific position to look "normal" or "anatomic" and would look silly if upside down, for example!

BREAST IMPLANTS DO NOT HARDEN, EVER.

However, the scar capsule around your implant(s) can thicken or tighten (caused usually by bleeding or bacteria), making your breasts firm or unnaturally-shaped. Careful surgery, in my opinion, is important to avoid bleeding or bacterial contamination that can lead to excessive capsule formation (capsular contracture), and keeping the surgical pocket mechanically open with careful implant movement exercises can reduce both the incidence and severity of capsular contracture, should it occur.

I have my patients begin gentle implant movement exercises every three hours (when they take their muscle relaxant) while awake, simply pressing on the lower pole of the breast to force the implant to slide upwards in the already-created pocket. I have patients go braless until the implants have dropped into position, after which a bra is worn to prevent further drop or bottoming out. I believe implants should be moved in their pocket until complete healing has occurred (several months), and after a few weeks, can be done while showering or through clothing in the restroom.

(My partner does not have his patients do implant movement exercises, which is why our website information does not include my personal recommendations). Neither of us is "right," and neither is "wrong," but we both (as do our colleagues also answering this and similar questions) strive to have our patients obtain the best possible results. BTW, our incisions are completely covered by adherent Tegaderm dressings, which keep any finger or hand bacterial contamination away from the incisions until completely sealed, while allowing complete visibility of the healing incision (all under-the-skin dissolving sutures).
 

Web reference: http://www.mpsmn.com/html/breast-augmentation.html

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 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.