How to massage your breast implants
Following the implantation of any medical device – pacemaker, hip implant, or breast implant – your body will form a capsule, which is a smooth sheath of scar tissue around the device. The capsule consists of collagen fibers, which in a small number of cases can organize into firm and painful scar tissue which is referred to as capsular contracture. In some cases, the scar tissue can distort the appearance of the breasts.
Although breast implant massage has been recommended to help reduce the risk of scar tissue, no study to date has conclusively proven that massage prevents the development of capsular contracture. However, patients may perform massage of smooth round breast implants if desired. Massage of textured anatomic implants should not be performed as this maneuver risks rotating the implant and changing the shape of the breast. Smooth round implant implants are symmetric, and rotation will not change the shape of the breasts.
Breast implant massage technique
To massage your breast implant, start with your right hand for your left breast. Gently push your implant from the center of your chest to the armpit (Figure 1). Then, push the implant from the side of your chest to the sternum (Figure 2). Next, push the implant downwards from the top of the implant, towards your abdomen (Figure 3). Finally, push the implant from the bottom up towards the collarbone (Figure 4). With each maneuver, hold for a few seconds and then release. Repeat this sequence with your left hand for your right breast. The entire procedure should take about a minute for both breasts.
How many times per day should I massage my breast implants?
In general, we recommend massaging your implants once daily. Some patients find it easiest to perform the massage in the shower, while other patients prefer to rest on their backs during the procedure.
When should I begin massaging my breast implants?
Always check with your surgeon to ensure that massage is permitted and that you have healed sufficiently to begin massage. Our patients are typically cleared for massage at two weeks post-surgery. As with anything else, it’s important to listen to your body – if anything hurts, stop for a day or two and then start again.
How long do I need to massage my breast implants?
Again, there’s absolutely no definitive data on breast implant massage. However, because your body puts down about 80% of its healing tissue within 6 weeks after surgery, we recommend performing massage during this time period. Some patients continue to massage their implants indefinitely. It’s important to continue your self-exams for breast masses, and regular massage can be combined with this exam.