about massage for breast implant
October 27, 2009 9:46 AM | Breast Augmentation
I am 5 weeks postop and I had a lift with silcone gel implants and was told I did not need to massage them . Is there a reason I was told this?
San Francisco, CA
| Why Postoperative Breast Implant Massage is Important!|
October 27, 2009 10:16 AM
Implants can be placed under the pectoralis major muscle ("submuscular" or "subpectoral"), or on top of the muscle and under the breast tissue alone ("subglandular").
Sometimes, surgeons feel that having the implant under the muscle will do some of the massaging motion just by normal muscle movement and that massage of the implants by hand is not necessary.
In Plastic Surgery, there are few absolutely right or wrong answers. What I teach my patients is that implant massage helps to create a "pocket" that is larger than the implant itself. This will facilitate the implant to move around naturally inside its pocket and have a natural shape and motion, like a normal breast.
Implant massage also functions to some extent as a breast self-exam. Two studies of women with breast implants found that in those women who developed a breast lump, it was found earlier if they regularly massaged and felt their implants - which could be life-saving!
I recommend women massage their implants for a few minutes each day, for the rest of their life! After the scar tissue has completely healed and softened (by one year), massage could simply consist of lying on your tummy or rolling with your breasts against an exercise ball.
The purpose is to ensure the implants move around within their space and that the scar tissue does not contract around the implant ("capsular contacture").
There are videos on implant massage on my website you could refer to for reference: CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO.
Ask your Plastic Surgeon what their normal postoperative routine is and to demonstrate what you should be doing.
Karen M. Horton, MD, MSc, FRCSC