Breast Implant Massage

Regular massage of your breasts in the first 3 months after Breast Augmentation surgery, and less frequently up to 6 to 12 months, helps to move your implants into place, keep them naturally soft, and may also lower the risk of the scar tissue (the implant capsule) around each implant from hardening.

Do not massage your breasts if you also had a Breast Lift performed at the same time as your Breast Augmentation or if you have textured surface implants.

 

How to Perform Breast Massage

instructional video by Joseph Cruise, M.D.

Breast Massage Techniques

There are different massage techniques that you may be instructed to perform at any one time; each massage technique should be performed often during the first 3 – 6 months after surgery. It helps to look in a mirror when you first perform these exercises to make sure you are performing each correctly; thereafter, when appropriate, you can use a mirror to check the level and position of your breasts.

If you have any questions concerning your breast massage routine, please contact us as soon as possible and a member of staff will be ready to advise you.

Downward Massage

Implants positioned below the muscle (sub-muscular or sub-pectoral) are initially forced to sit higher up the chest after surgery due to natural tension of the chest muscle (pectoralis major). With the help of gravity and the constant expansile force of the implant, the muscle will eventually stretch out and allow the implant to settle down. Downward manipulation of your implants helps to speed up this process and can be diminished in frequency as the implants settle. It is normal that the left and right muscles have different tensions, and usually for right-handed people the right side takes a little longer to descend.

 

Technique:

  1. With your bra off, place both of your hands on your right breast just above the nipple.
  2. Use steady, gentle pressure to pull your breast tissue upward, while pushing the implant downward.
  3. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat on your left breast.
  5. Perform this on each breast for 10 repetitions, at least 3 times a day, holding each repetition for ten seconds.

Upward Massage

Upward massage pushes your implants upwards to help stretch out the implant capsule. This is generally helpful for all patients, may prevent Capsular Contracture, and also stretch the upper portion of the chest muscle.

Loosening the chest muscle here means that there is less downward force on the implants, which may already be in the right position and do not need additional help (in addition to gravity) to be pushing them down.

 

Technique:

  1. With your bra off, cup the open palm of your left hand directly under the nipple of your right breast, and squeeze the implant upward.
  2. Alternate with your left to right hand and move the implant as high as you can within the implant pocket.
  3. When the implant reaches the top of the pocket, hold the implant in place for at least 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat beginning with your right hand under your left breast.
  5. Perform this on each breast for 10 repetitions, at least 3 times a day, holding each repetition for ten seconds.

Medial Massage

Manipulating your implants towards each other (i.e., towards the middle of your chest) helps to better define cleavage, and in the case of implants positioned below the muscle, it helps to stretch out the portion of chest muscle that may be holding the implants too far apart.

Technique:

  1. With your bra off, cup the open palm of each hand under and to the side of each of your breasts (or, cross your arms and place your right hand at the outside of your left breast and your left hand at the outside of your right breast).
  2. Use gentle pressure to push and pull your implants to the center of your chest, so that your breasts touch at the midline
  3. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds.
  4. Perform this on each breast for 10 repetitions, at least 3 times a day, holding each repetition for ten seconds.

Lateral Massage

Do not perform massage to push your breast implants laterally unless specifically asked to do so by Dr. Jugenburg. This is the least common form of massage, as it is very rare that an implant pocket needs to be stretched out laterally (outward, to the sides). Lateral Massage is generally reserved for cases in which a Capsular Contracture has been released. Massage in all directions, including the lateral direction, is performed to prevent a repeat contraction of the implant capsule.

Technique:

  1. With your bra off, cup the open palm of your left hand around the inside of your right breast (to the left of the nipple), at the center of your chest.
  2. Push the implant outward toward the side of your body.
  3. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat with your right hand on the inside of your left breast.
  5. Perform this on each breast for 10 repetitions, at least 3 times a day, holding each repetition for ten seconds.

Massage for Capsular Contracture

The formation of excess scar tissue and implant hardening, a condition known as Capsular Contracture, may cause:

  1. Reduced (contracted) size of the implant pocket
  2. Restricted movement of the implant within the implant pocket
  3. An unnaturally firm feeling to the breast
  4. A misshapen or unnaturally rounded appearance to the breasts
  5. The breast to ride higher up the chest

Post-surgical manipulation of your implants (through massage) may help by encouraging the body to form a capsule in each breast slightly larger (or looser) than the implant itself, and thereby having a softer feel. Breast implant massage can also gain breast symmetry where one implant may be slightly higher than the other, develop cleavage, or to retain the contour and symmetry of your breasts in the long-term.

When to Perform Breast Massage

It is important to massage routinely if you want your implants to settle sooner rather than later, and thereafter to maintain a good feel and appearance to your breasts. Continued massage is particularly important for smooth implants. If you have textured implants, you may only need to continue massaging until the implants have dropped; Dr. Jugenburg will advise you on this.

  1. Immediately after your surgery, begin to perform breast massage at least 3 different times each day for the first 3 months following surgery. While this may be uncomfortable at first, it is very important that you begin these exercises early. The period immediately following surgery is the most critical during which final adjustments can be made to the position, shape and contour of your breasts.
  2. After 3 months, if your breasts feel naturally soft and your implants are moving freely, you may reduce your massage routine to 2 times per day.
  3. After 4 months, and every day thereafter during the first year, if your breasts and implants continue to feel normal, you may reduce your massage routine to only 1 time per day.

Should you at any time experience any of the following, please contact the clinic immediately on (647) 360-1975:

  1. Sharp breast pain
  2. Hot or flushed breast skin
  3. Severe tightening or hardness of your implants
  4. A sudden and significant change in the appearance or position of your breast
  5. Anything you believe to be abnormal

A nurse will speak to you over the phone to determine if you need to be seen urgently or not. If you are unable to contact the clinic, or if it is after regular business hours, please first go to your nearest hospital to have a physician examine you, and then contact the clinic as soon as possible thereafter.

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Settling-In Period

Prior to your surgery, and then again during your post-operative follow-up visits, we will demonstrate the massage techniques you should perform to help your implants to settle down and to obtain and maintain a naturally soft breast. On average, most of the settling in will take place during the first 3 months after surgery; however, keep in mind that each individual is different.

Sometimes, it can take longer for implants to finally settle down. Dr. Jugenburg will monitor your progress at each follow-up visit and advise you if there is anything else you should do during this process.

Your Breast Augmentation Consultation

Dr. Jugenburg is a highly experienced plastic surgeon who always takes the time to get to know his patients and their needs before committing to any kind of surgery. At your consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Jugenburg, and let him know about the look you want to achieve. The doctor will guide you through the whole breast augmentation process: from the preparations you will need to make, through to the surgical procedure and aftercare. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions and raise any concerns you might have with Dr. Jugenburg and his team of highly qualified and friendly healthcare professionals.

Meet Your Doctor, Dr. Martin Jugenburg

Get in touch with Toronto's foremost plastic and reconstructive surgeon

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