Many women who are preparing for breast augmentation ask about how to keep their implants looking and feeling great after their surgery. While there is not much that you need to do to maintain your implants, one suggestion that many plastic surgeons have is to perform regular breast implant massages.
Breast implant massages, or compression exercises, offer many benefits for augmentation patients. These exercises facilitate the healing process and may even reduce your risk of capsular contracture.
How Are Massages Beneficial?
By massaging the implant, which is essentially applying pressure to it from various directions, you can help relax the scar tissue that forms around it to help prevent the possibility of the capsule shrinking and tightening. This is known as capsular contracture, an unusual but possible complication associated with implants. Capsular contracture can be painful and requires breast revision surgery to restore both comfort and aesthetics.
While there is no way to prevent scar tissue from forming, you can keep it loose and relaxed through breast implant massage.
What Should You Know About Performing an Implant Massage?
Breast implant massages should be started early in the process; however, you must wait for your incisions to close and heal before you consider any compression exercises. Massages put pressure on the implants and the incisions, and you do not want the incisions to re-open, as this can put you at risk for infection and a prolonged recovery. Most augmentation incisions are healed enough to begin these after one week.
Most surgeons that recommend implant massages have preferred techniques that they will share with you during your consultation. While some of these techniques may vary slightly depending on your specific implants, compression exercises usually include the following steps:
- Cup your hands over one of your breasts—you will work on one implant at a time and should remove your shirt and bra so that nothing is between your hands and your breast. Gently push down on the implant for a few seconds—you can gradually apply more pressure as time goes on. Release and repeat, this time pushing up on the implant, and then from side to side. Be sure that you apply pressure to all sides of the implant.
- Supporting your breast with one hand, use the other hand to make small, circular movements around the entire breast. You should work in a clockwise motion starting at the top pole. This will keep the implant loose and soft.
- After a few days, you can increase the aggressiveness of the exercises. You can start to press and squeeze the implant to ensure it is comfortable in the breast pocket.
Implant massages should initially be performed two to three times a day for three to five minutes. This routine should be followed for at least three months; however, many women find that daily breast massages are beneficial long-term.
This practice is a painless and simple way to keep your implants feeling comfortable and soft, and can be a useful part of your augmentation recovery. It is important that you talk with your surgeon before starting so that you can be sure you know the proper technique and timeline. Massages can help optimize your augmentation outcome, but you need to make sure that you are performing them correctly.