Benefits of Breast Massage after Augmentation Surgery
Breast augmentation has consistently been the most requested cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States, year after year. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the leading professional organization for plastic surgeons, its member surgeons performed almost 280,000 breast augmentation procedures in 2015. The vast majority of those patients are pleased with the final results from their surgery. Our staff at Jefferson Plastic Surgery has certainly seen this trend reflected in our own practice. A major factor in this high satisfaction rate is proper care after surgery. Regular breast massage plays an important role in a good care plan after breast augmentation.
Breast Implants and Capsular Contracture
The truth is that the term breast massage is a bit of a misnomer. It is not so much the breasts that are being massaged, as it is that the pockets that have been created to hold the implants need massaging. When our surgeons place the breast implants behind the chest muscles (subpectoral placement), they must create a pocket to hold the implants. Scar tissue will form as part of the body’s natural healing process. In some cases, excessive scar tissue may form, which can press against the pocket, causing a condition known as capsular contracture. In mild to moderate cases, the breasts may look or feel harder. In severe cases, the implants can become displaced and may require a second surgery to either loosen or remove scar tissue. Patients may also experience pain as a result of the scar tissue tightening around the implant capsules.
How Is Breast Massage Beneficial?
Breast massage helps to loosen up the scar tissue that has formed around the implant capsule. This will not only prevent excess scar tissue from forming but also keep the scar tissue more flexible. It will also keep the breasts looking and feeling more pliable, thereby reducing pain that can often be associated with tightening as a result of scar tissue formation following breast augmentation surgery.
Another benefit of breast massage is that it also ensures that there is adequate room available for the implant pocket. This can be particularly useful in cases of breast reconstruction following mastectomy in which a breast implant is used. Depending on the treatment plan for the breast cancer, the implant may not be placed at the same time as the mastectomy. In such cases, space must be left for the implant to be inserted at a later date. Although a spacer is used, breast massage can also help keep the breast tissue stretched out until the implant procedure can be performed.
Breast Massage Technique
The basic technique is to massage the breasts by pushing them in various directions. The breasts should be massaged toward each other, away from each other, upward, and then downward. This should be done regularly, starting about a week after surgery, for at least a month. If you experience any pain, wait for the breasts to heal more before trying again to massage them.
You have no doubt put a great deal of care and thought into whether or not to undergo a breast augmentation procedure. Following proper care instructions after surgery, including breast massage, will help you to get the most optimal results from your surgery so that you can proudly show off your new figure to friends and family.