Massage After Implants Recommended So They Drop?

Is it always recommended to massage your breasted so your implants drop?

Doctor Answers 12

Massage After Implants Recommended So They Drop?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Follow-up closely with your surgeon for additional restrictions/instructions and the potential use of bras/garments or massage that may encourage the implant to settle appropriately.  Recommendations for this will vary among surgeons - it is best to follow your surgeon's advice.  It is not always recommended or necessary to massage, but most employ this method to encourage this as well as to keep the implant pocket soft.  If still displaced after this time, a surgical procedure may be necessary to further open the pocket and bring the implant(s) down. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Massage Techniques

Dear Alohababy,
Thank you for your post. 
There are many reasons why one would want to do breast massage after surgery. These include,
1. to try to massage an implant into place that is assymetric with the other side,
2. to try to massage implants down that are too high,
3. to try to massage a constricted area of the breast to loosen up, as in tubular breasts, and finally
4. to try to prevent capsular contraction around the breasts.
As you probably have guessed, the type of massage for these different issues will be different as we are trying to accomplish different things. If the massage is done incorrectly, or past the point of symmetry when trying to lower an implant, then yes, it can cause bottoming out or widening. Follow these guidelines to avoid this. Your implants will get softer natually as the swelling goes down, so you should always follow your particular doctors recommendations regarding massage. These are the instructions I give my patients:

1. When the implants are assymetric, or appear to be at different levels or height, then the massage is different from side to side. This occurs sometimes if the implants are placed under the muscle and one muscle is released slightly different from the other side, or the muscle is naturally larger or different shape from the other side. Sometimes massage is performed to one breast only, and sometimes to both breasts but in different directions. You should ask your surgeon for specific instructions as every situation is different, but in general, think of the breast as a 'circle', and massage with significant breast on the opposite side of the circle that you want the implants to go. You have to feel an actual stretch in the tissues in the area that the implant need to go for this to be of benefit, otherwise you are not really accomplishing anything. If the massage is in the direction of the incision, I usually protect the incision with steri-strips in order to keep the scar from widening in the early first 3 months during the massage. The massage needs to be finished in the first three months and started early, otherwise it will have little to no benefit. Look at the breasts and analyze the symmetry and where the deficient areas are to make a nice smooth beautiful contour, and stop once that goal is achieved.

2. When the implants are high, and have not dropped, but are symmetric, some physicians use a tension band on top of the breasts, some ask the patient to go without a bra and allow gravity to slowly move the implants, some do a similar massage to the above but doing exactly the same thing on both sides. Consult with your physician on this.

3. When there is a constricted breast like tubular breasts, I sometimes have the patient massage as in #1, sometimes have them massage both sides of the 'circle' to loosen the constricted skin, and usually leave the patient out of a bra if both sides have tubular breasts or constriction at the bottom, or if only one side is constricted, have the patient wear a bra, but cutting out he cup on the side that is constricted, so that only the normal side is supported.

4. Finally, maintenance massage. I disagree with surgeons who want to keep the pocket or 'capsule' of the breast where the implant is contained larger than the implant. This aids in the implant becoming more and more displaced over time, with more separation at the cleavage point especially when you lay down, and can also cause sagging of the breasts. I actually use textured implants as a way to fight the implants moving inside the capsule of the breast so that they stay 'perky'. Natural 'perky' breasts stay in place when standing up or laying down, so 'perky' implants should do the same. I think the implant should fit in the capsule or breast pocket like a glove, and actually be adhesive to it. Thus there is a 'perfect' amount of massage that is necessary to keep this capsule flexible, but not wider than the actual implant and thus allow for movement of the implant and thus sag. I like grabbing the breast and pressing the opposite sides of the 'circle' toward the center, causing the central or nipple area to bulge out. I have my patients do this pushing the top and bottom together, the sides together, and then both diagonals together. This puts more pressure on the central portion of the implant, rather than the sides to allow the implant to continue to be adhesive, but the capsule to not widen. I ask my patients to develop a routine and do it in their morning shower, this way it becomes habitual and they won't forget, as this is a lifelong routine that should be performed.

Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Breast Massage

No, it is recommended that your massage your implants to prevent capuslar contractor; more importantly breast compressions prevent capuslar contrators from forming.

Scott Loessin, MD
Key West Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Massage After Implants Recommended So They Drop?

I always recommend massage to my patients after breast augmentation...As the capsule forms around the implant I like it to eventually be a bit larger than the implant itself and I think this gives a softer breast ultimately...By moving your implant around it not only relaxes the tissue below allowing it to drop a bit, but makes your body think your implant is really bigger than it is and so forms a larger capsule, in my opinion.

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Massage after breast augmentation

Implants that are too high sometimes present after sub-muscular augmentation, but this can occur after any augmentaiton surgery.  Early on (first two months), steady pressure on the upper pole can help implants settle.  I often recommend a bandeau bra (with a strap that goes over the upper pole of each breast) to help things along. This is particularly useful for submuscular implants. Massage doesn't help much.


Implants that do not settle need to be revised. 

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Breast implants do not drop. They have to start out in the right place.


I don't know how this idea gets spread around, but I don't think it is true.  Implants should look great at the end of the operation.  If they are too high, they will probably stay that way.  Unfortunately, massage does not help.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Massage after breast augmentation depends on the circumstances

Some surgeons recommend massage, some do not.  Round implants can be massaged, shaped implants should not be massaged because they can rotate and developed an abnormal shape.

In my practice I do ask my patients to massage round implants.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews

Massage After Implants Recommended

Generally, it is encouraged for patients who have had breast implant surgery to perform breast massage. The breast massage should be performed based on instruction of the surgeon and/or medical staff. Typically, patients perform the massage initially 4 times a day using a continuous pressure for 2 minutes on each breast. The length of time to perform the massage exercises will be based on a case by case basis. For some patients other exercises may be prescribed as well.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Implant massage, some do, some don't

You will find on this site that some surgeons recommend implant massage, and some don't. We do not, and our patients go into a snug bra and upper compression band for two weeks after.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Implant massage

I usually recommend that my patients who have smooth wall implants massage their breasts after surgery for several months.  Though we call this massage, we really want to shift the implant around inside its capsule.  This can help softening and dropping.  If a patient has textured implants or are too high we can also have them wear a breast stabilizer band that can exert downward pressure on your breasts.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 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.