We already discussed capsular contracture and how this is the most common aesthetic complication of breast augmentation. One way to diminish the risk of having a capsular contracture is by performing breast massages after the surgery. My protocol includes not only breast massage, but also some breast exercises that will help with the following:
1. Decrease swelling.
2. Break the scar that is forming through the healing process.
3. Help the breast settle after surgery, so you do not have a high-riding breast.
I recommend that the patient start doing breast massages within 24 hours after surgery. The first thing you need to do is stretch your arms all the way up with your elbows straight and touch each side of the hand above the head. You are going to go up and down multiple times for about 5 to 10 minutes. I like patients to take a shower with warm water to soften the tissues; you can do this in the shower. After stretching your arms, massage each breast with the opposite hand, squeezing until it feels uncomfortable. You do this multiple times. Also, do sideways massages where you put your hand on each side of the breast and squeeze your breast until it feels uncomfortable.
If your skin elasticity is not the greatest, don’t massage aggressively, because you can actually drop the implant significantly after surgery by applying too much pressure. So, follow the recommendation of your surgeon closely.
After three or four days, you can start sleeping on your chest. I do not recommend sleeping on your side because in some patients, this puts pressure on one breast, and this can cause significant asymmetries by allowing the breast implants to descend into an incorrect anatomical place.
You should be doing the breast massages three or four times a day for the first month. You should continue doing the massages for up to a year, but you do not have to be that aggressive. Performing the breast massages essentially squeezes the implant and stretches the deep tissue of the breast, minimizing the scar that forms around the implant and preventing complications like capsular contracture and implant malposition, among others. You have to be very compliant with your breast massages after surgery. I have seen patients develop capsular contracture and breast asymmetries within a year of surgery that could have been prevented just by following these simple steps.