Plastic surgeons often advise breast augmentation patients to massage their implants post-op in order to prevent firmness, and to create softer more natural looking breasts. Deliberately manipulating the breast helps to counteract capsular contracture, which is the most common complication resulting from breast augmentation surgery. Capsular contracture is scar tissue that forms around foreign materials that are inserted into the body. Stretching the scar tissue not only keeps them soft, but also breaks up small binding constrictions and creates space to give the implant movement. Three commonly recommended massage techniques are: compression, displacement and squeezing.
Compression, Displacement and Squeezing
One or all of the following massage techniques should be practiced for at least 30 minutes a day for the first 3 months, and 5 minutes a day after 3 months. You can perform these alone, with a partner and with or without clothing. Preferably, the following exercises are best performed in the shower or when you are warm and relaxed.
There are 3 options you can use when using compression massage method.
Option 1: Use your flattened hand to compress the implant against the chest. Apply enough pressure to flatten the implant, but not hard enough to be painful. You can also use your arm, pressing your forearm across both breasts.
Option 2: Lay down on the floor on your abdomen. Raise both arms just above your head.
Option 3: Use an exercise ball. On the floor, wrap your arms around the ball and roll forward onto your knees, laying on the ball. Your implants should be compressed against the ball, and your torso should be slightly parallel to the floor.
When using the displacement method, place your hand on the center of the implant. In a circular motion rotate the implant to the outer most corners of the breast pocket, making sure to massage the implant into all four quadrants. For example, top left, bottom left, bottom right and top right, and then repeat in the reverse direction. When performing displacement you should hold the implant in each position for a few seconds.
Lastly, squeeze the implant. Starting from the bottom, squeeze the breast across the center of the implant enough to completely move the implant up as high as it can go. Do not pinch. Feel and see the implant actually move. Repeat this method several times moving around the breast.
Since very breast augmentation is unique, your doctor will tell you when and how to start massaging your implants. On average, doctors will have you start a few days post-op.