Massaging Saline Implant! Is It Only Moving the Implants Around or Squeezing Too?

Hi I'm 26 5'2 113 pounds. Had my first B.A 500 cc silicone on 3/9/12 last year in Mexico he also did a lift .I have one baby. Had my second surgery on may 21/2013 530 cc saline.b/c of capsule contracture. now I'm almost 4weeks post-op. I started massaging 2 weeks after my surgery when the stitches were out! Dr said only too move the implant all around but no queezing! Was reading on the internet and they say too squeeze. What's best? Also when lying on back my breast fill hard is this normal?

Doctor Answers 6

Breast Massage After Surgery

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Always best to follow your own plastic surgeons recommendations;  even though they  may be different than what you hear or see elsewhere. Remember that your plastic surgeon knows exactly what was done and is ultimately responsible for your care.

 Best wishes.


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I know it can be a bit unsettling when the 'experts' disagree or give contradictory information. You need to know that cosmetic plastic surgery is lagging behind the other medical specialties when it comes to evidence based determination of the best way to practice.   This is partly due to the fact that cosmetic plastic surgery does not treat illness or disease; we operate on perfectly healthy people.  Fortunately, with the help of organizations like the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation encouraging and financially aiding plastic surgeons to do more research, we are getting great data to help us all practice better medicine.

It has been over ten years since research has shown that implant massage techniques are ineffective against preventing or treating capsular contracture.  Still, surgeons are stuck in a rut, unable to let go of this unnecessary post surgical exercise.  This is partly due to fear and not 'trusting' the data, and partly due to the fact that telling a patient to massage puts the onus (and therefore fault) on the patient if she gets capsular contracture, as she 'just didn't do it right, or enough'.

Capsular contracture is a pathologic process that involve bacterial contamination of the implant, not sufficient to cause infection, but instead causing inflammation which leads to abnormal fibrosis - a thickened, inelastic scar capsule.  It is second only to rippling for all complications that lead to re-operation, and is estimated to occur on average 20% of the time!  Surgeons who ascribe to proper preoperative implant selection, perform meticulous surgical technique, and deliver the implant in a 'no touch' method through an inframammary incision, will have capsular contracture rates as low as 2 percent.

So there is no need to massage your implants.  At this point, there is nothing you need to do except follow up with your doctor and ask him to show you the data (peer reviewed articles) that suggests implant massage is effective.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Massaging does not play a role in breast augmentation.

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I'm not a believer in massaging for the prevention or treatment of capsular contracture. In the short-term vigorous massage may actually be damaging to the freshly operated upon tissues.

Massage of implants

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These questions can best be answered by your surgeon.  If you are unsure how he wants you to massage the implants then call his office for instructions. Every surgeon has his own protocol for post op breast augmentation care. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Implant Massage Technique

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Implant massage for my patients involves moving the implant within the pocket. Upwards is a free direction. Down and lateral needs to be done more carefully as gravity and pec motion generally move the implant these directions. Massaging helps preventing capsular contracture but also fine tunes the result, and can make small improvements to implant position. If they are centered perfectly and have good symmetry, then massage them uniformly.

Massaging Saline Implant! Is It Only Moving the Implants Around or Squeezing Too?

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The technique is difficult to describe verbally, and I am reluctant to offer instructions different from those of your surgeon. Best approach is to send the reference by email to your surgeon, and ask for instructions. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.