Taking Care of Breast Implants
Bra-fitting and Breast Massage after Augmentation
Let’s address some of the most frequently asked questions after initial recovery from breast augmentation.
The timing of when to start wearing a bra following breast surgery varies with different surgeries and individual patients. Dr. Fichadia or one of her staff will advise patients when to start wearing a bra. Some patients will be advised to start wearing a bra soon after surgery and others may be advised to wait a while for breast shaping to occur.
What to wear until you are ready for a bra:
A surgical bra or ACE wrap is used after surgery, but a tank top with adjustable straps and band bra can be used until you are ready to go bra shopping.
Some department stores have “certified” bra fitters who can help you find a correct fit. Once a person has been “fitted” properly, shopping in any lingerie or department store is much easier. Bra manufacturer’s size and shape can vary – if you find a style that fits well, buy several, as bra styles often change. Please remember that there is no standard for bra cup sizing and there is great variability within styles of bras, even by the same manufacturer.
Underwire bras give the best support; this is due to the wire and bra cup construction. To begin with, a seamless, molded cup style works best. Look for bras that are seamless, have some slight padding, with molded feel. When breasts are still swollen after surgery, seams can indent skin. You may use a soft cup bra until comfortable with an underwire. Avoid “Miracle Bras”, “Wonder Bras” and “Push up bras” as they can displace implants to an abnormal position.
Following breast surgery, and specifically breast augmentation with smooth-shell breast implants, it is important to maintain the soft feeling of your breasts. Implants are a foreign substance. Your body will naturally respond to an implant by creating scar tissue or a capsule. This capsule can become excessive; the results may include:
- Reduced size of the implant pocket
- Restricted movement of the implant within the implant pocket
- An unnaturally firm feeling to the breasts
- A misshapen appearance to the breasts
Regular breast massage in the first six months following surgery can reduce the potential for these conditions by manipulating your implants so that they can move freely within the implant pocket. Breast massage can also retain the contour and symmetry of your breasts, or to help gain breast symmetry where one implant may be slightly higher than the other.
Begin the exercises one week after breast surgery, when it becomes tolerable to do so. Perform the entire set of exercises at least two times each day for the first three months following surgery. While this may be uncomfortable when you first begin to perform the exercises, it is very important that you begin these exercises early.
After three months, if your breasts feel soft and implants are moving freely, you may perform your exercises one time per day.
After six months and every day the first year, if your breasts feel soft and implants are moving freely, you may perform your exercises once per day or every other day. Should you experience any sharp pain, severe tightening or hardness at any time with your breast implants, please consult our office with our double-board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Fichadia, in Portland OR. as soon as possible.
Please note: In some cases, and with anatomical/teardrop shaped implants we do not recommend implant massage. If you have any questions, please ask us, and we will guide you through the exercises.