Breast augmentation enhances the size, symmetry, and contour of a patient’s breasts. Many of our patients find that the cosmetic procedure boosts their self-esteem and their bustline.
Following your breast augmentation at our Waukesha, WI, plastic surgery practice, Dr. Tracy E. McCall will provide recommendations on important steps that should be followed throughout your recovery. One key recommendation will be to regularly massage your breasts beginning soon after breast augmentation surgery.
Why Is Massaging My Breasts Important?
The two main benefits of massaging your breasts after breast augmentation deal with implant settling and preventing capsular contracture. Breast massage after augmentation can also shorten your overall recovery time.
Massaging your breasts at regular intervals can prevent the onset of capsular contracture. Although rare, the post-surgical complication causes the soft tissue that surrounds the implants to harden and tighten. Many patients with this complication find that their breasts become painful to touch.
The exact cause of capsular contracture is unknown, but leading theories suggest that the hardening is part of the body’s autoimmune response to the presence of breast implants. Many plastic surgeons, including Dr. McCall, recommend that patients massage their breasts multiple times a day to lower their risk of developing capsular contracture.
“Drop and fluff” refers to the natural settling process of breast implants once they have been surgically placed. Most patients will notice the dropping phase first before the “fluff” results in the slight expansion of the implants once they have settled.
Having a daily massage routine facilitates and promotes the natural settling of breast implants. Once your breast implants have settled, your breasts will look more natural. This is one reason why we ask patients at our Waukesha office to wait several weeks before they evaluate their cosmetic results. Implants can appear to be unnaturally elevated immediately after surgery.
How to Properly Massage Your Breasts
At the time you are released to return home and recover from your breast augmentation, you will be given instructions on how and when to massage your breasts. Although your breasts will be sore and bruised in the days following surgery, it is best to not wait too long to begin massaging them.
Dr. McCall will give you specific advice on how frequently you should massage your breasts. In general, patients are advised to massage their breasts three times a day for several minutes.
Common Massaging Techniques
Massaging your breasts three times a day during the first month or two while you recover will ensure that your breasts settle properly and do not harden. The following massage techniques are effective and easy to remember.
- Cup one hand over each breast and press downward then upward
- Push each breast toward the middle of your chest, hold, then pull breasts outward
- Place an open hand on each side of one breast and gently squeeze the breast before similarly squeezing the other breast
- Grab one shoulder with the opposite hand and use the arm to compress one breast and then the other