Patients Can Aid Their own Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Much of what determines the results for a patient undergoing breast augmentation in Phoenix happens during the preoperative planning stage and the actual surgery. However, how patients take care of their breasts after surgery has a significant effect on their results as well.

In my opinion, breast massage after plastic surgery in Phoenix can help maintain an adequate pocket size for the implant, in effect keeping the breasts soft, helping them to settle and reducing the risk of capsular contracture (internal scar tissue tightening). I usually recommend breast massages twice a day, starting 2 days after surgery. The basic information on these massages is in the FAQ section of my website, and every patient is personally instructed on how to perform these massages during their first follow-up visit the day after surgery. The only exceptions to this rule are those patients who have placement of Strattice™ (an acellular dermal matrix). In these patients, massage is avoided to help the Strattice fuse internally.

Wearing the proper garments after surgery is also important. I place patients in a surgical bra with a compression strap in order to stabilize and settle the breasts. Generally, I have patients wear this bra for 1 week after surgery and then transition to a soft, yoga-style bra or non-underwire bra. Patients with Strattice will usually wear a garment with some kind of downward compression for 4 to 6 weeks.

Limit yourself to light activity and avoid stressing the chest muscles soon after surgery. The chest (pectoralis) muscles are partially divided during surgery to allow the implants to sit properly beneath them. If the muscles are stressed excessively, they can tear at the edge, leading to increased swelling and pain, or even worse, bleeding that can require a return to the operating room. It is crucial that patients watch their activity carefully after surgery and limit any pushing, pulling or lifting. Patients may ease into exercise after 4 to 6 weeks, but they must always limit chest building exercises such as pushups and bench presses to maintain the best results. Specific instructions about lifting and exercise are also listed on my website’s FAQ section.

If a patient is coming to my Phoenix plastic surgery practice, I will do everything I can to make sure the best possible results are obtained. This includes educating my patients about how they can aid their own recovery. Once patients are given the proper information, they are usually enthusiastic about taking part in the progress of their own recovery.

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