I recently developed capsular contracture and my doctor is giving me ultrasound massage on the affected breast. Is this harmful to submuscular saline implants? Also, I live quite a ways from my surgeon so to save myself the driving time I purchased a 1 mhz portable ultrasound (photo) . Are these as effective as the doctor visits?
Is Ultrasound Massage Harmful to Breast Implants?
Doctor Answers 5
Have used ultrasound therapeutically since 1999
Since 1999 along with a very skilled physical therapist, I have been using 1 mhz therapeutic ultrasound on breast implants that are not settling in as expected. I have shared this protocol with several other plastic surgeons whom I've known or trained with, who have all enjoyed success with the protocol. At times that we have allowed patients who are physical therapists to do the protocol on themselves, most have over treated themselves, resulting in an implant that slipps too low, a testament to effectiveness. The protocol has been documented with photos of a one sided high riding implant that is likely in a pocket with more post surgical inflammation than the other side, after 2 sessions the patient is re-examined and photographed. The implant that has been high, settled in. Sometimes up to 6 treatments are done. I re-examine after every two treatments, before proceeding with additional treatments. The window of time for this treatment is roughly 2-3 months post surgery. A well developed capsule will not be as likely to respond, and we have not used this as a go-to late modality for the well developed capsule contracture. We have probably treated several hundred patients with the protocol without incident. It is difficult to design a scientific study to assess the efficacy of a procedure like this, or we would have published it in a peer reviewed journal. Singulair probably extends the window of time that this procedure will work. It is an off- label usage of the device.
I dont think ultrasound is harmful to your breasts or breast implants. I dont think that singulaire is effective either but it is probably not harmful.
Ultrasound Therapy and Capsular Contracture
Ultrasound does not provide enough energy to damage the shells of you saline implants. On the same note, the energy emitted by ultrasound probably will not make a significant difference in your capsular contracture problem. The use of a medication called, Singulair, has been shown to be beneficial in some patients with capsular contracture. If you are not taking this now, I recommend a follow up with your plastic surgeon to obtain a prescription for this medication.
Thank you for your question. Best of Luck!
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Ultrasound not harmful to breast implants
Ultrasound will not harm your breast implants, but there is also no definitive proof that it will help capsular contracture. Most protocols for capsular contracture that utilize ultrasound also long term antibiotics, as well as a leukotriene inhibitor (like Singulair or Accolate). Though there have been many anecdotal reports of improvement there has not been a definitive study which shows this helps.