One of the most common complications with breast implant surgery is the occurrence of capsular contraction. After surgery, the body creates a capsule or sack of tissue around the breast implants. This is actually a normal healing process and safety measure conducted by the body. The body is programmed to contain and encapsulate any large foreign object to prevent it from doing damage to the system. This can be bad news for implants though as the capsule tends to contract or shrink over time, putting pressure on them and potentially causing them to burst. A frequently recommended but also greatly contested means of preventing capsular contraction is massage of the breast implants.
The guiding philosophy behind implant massage is that stretching and rubbing the tissue around the implant will keep the scar capsule soft and pliable, instead of stiff and restrictive. Some doctors also believe that massaging the breasts will contribute to more natural looking and feeling implants as well as less post-surgery pain.
Massage therapy is generally only recommended for those with smooth implants, not with textured. Textured breast implants were actually designed to reduce the risk of contracture of the scar capsule, although in reality the rate of capsular contraction is roughly the same as smooth ones. Still, textured seem to face a bigger chance of failing if massaged.
With smooth breast implants, there are two separate types of massage that many doctors advise.
The first is displacement and the second is compression. Displacement massage (also referred to as quadrant exercises) means moving the implants around within the capsule in order to stretch out the sack and make it softer. This requires shifting the implant side to side and up and down and holding it in place for several seconds at a time.
Some doctors prefer the compression massage technique however, because patients often practice displacement after breast augmentation ineffectively. Instead of moving the implant around within the scar sack to stretch it out, they unwittingly simply move the implant and the capsule around within the breast. Compression technique also involves exerting moderate to strong pressure to push down on different parts of the breast implants to make them bulge out in other places, which stretches out the capsule.
As the opinions of doctors vary, so does the timetable for massage. Some will advise patients to begin massaging several hours after the breast augmentation, while others recommend waiting a week. For the next several weeks, patients are often counseled to massage three or four times per day and then once a day forever thereafter.
As mentioned however, some doctors do not prescribe massage therapy at all to their patients and in fact there are other methods of avoiding and dealing with capsular contracture. There is some evidence that certain implant-related drugs containing vitamin-E taken before and after the surgery have been effective in reducing the risk of contracture. If contracture does occur, patients can undergo a capsulectomy to remove the offending capsule.
This has proven to be the best way to keep contracture from happening again.
Although massage is not the only way to treat and prevent capsular contracture, when done correctly it may be a good method of keeping the implants soft and natural, making the breast implant surgery satisfying and worthwhile.
About the Author (text)San Antonio plastic surgery procedures provide excellent results in reshaping and resizing of breasts. It is advisable to undergo implant massage to prevent the risk of capsular contraction after breast augmentation. Consult the surgeons at http://www.drvirginia.com/
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