Breast Implant Mobility Exercises
Mobility exercises for breast implants are started 3 to 4 weeks after breast augmentation surgery to promote a natural appearance of the breasts. These exercises are performed to keep the dissected pocket open and help prevent capsular contracture. The nurses at Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery will instruct you on the proper technique to use for these exercises. Please feel free to return to the office for additional instructions or call for advice.
Capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue forms around the breast implant and squeezes it, causing firmness or hardness of the implant. Keeping the pocket open and moving the implant greatly reduces the chance of capsular contracture. Each separate movement should only take about 1 minute. Exercises should be repeated three times a day and each breast should be exercised separately. If needed, Ibuprofen may be taken 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercising.
Don't be afraid to push firmly on your breast implants. The incision is closed in layers and you cannot hurt yourself by pushing firmly (most patients are not vigorous enough). It is common for one implant to move more freely than the other. The more you push and the better your exercises are following breast augmentation, the more natural your breast implants will look and the sooner discomfort will subside.
Upward Movement of the Breast Implants
- Cup the breast with your opposite hand, feel for the implant and push the implant upward. Do not "heave-ho" the entire breast, just push the implant up.
- Move the top portion of your hand in toward the chest wall for the final upward movement of the implant.
- Hold the implant up in the pocket for about 1 minute.
Downward Movement of the Breast Implants
The object of this exercise is to seat the implant into the lowered breast fold, which is initially somewhat unyielding. This is accomplished in two separate steps.
- Keeping your fingers closed, place your fingers on the upper half of the breast with the little finger resting on the nipple. Slide the skin upward toward your collarbone. Look in a mirror and you will see that the breast fold has been opened and the implant is now seated in a lower position.
- Next, push straight in toward your ribs. This causes additional pressure on the implant to fill out the new lowered breast fold. Do not attempt to push the implant downward by turning the fingers downward. It is more effective to push straight in toward the ribs.
Down and Inward Movement of the Breast Implants
- With your opposite hand and your little finger resting on the nipple, slide the outer upper skin toward the armpit.
- Push straight in to your ribs so that the implant fills out the lower inner area toward the bottom of the breastbone.
Cup the outer breast with your opposite hand, feel for the implant and move toward the midline. Both breasts can be done at the same time by "embracing" yourself. Don't worry if the breasts do not meet in the midline. Chest muscles may be naturally wider in some patients, resulting in wider cleavage and making it difficult to have the breast "kiss." Do what you can.
Once the implants have healed in the lowered breast fold and the balance between the upper and lower parts of the augmented breast appear satisfactory, continue downward movements less frequently (about two to three times per week). After 1 month, exercises may be done once a day. After 3 to 4 months, you may further reduce the frequency of exercises to once a week for about a year. A large stretched pocket will maintain the softness and natural appearance of the breast.
Birmingham, AL Office & Surgery SuitesHedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery
140 Village Street
Birmingham, AL 35242
205-980-1744 or 800-HeddenMD * Dr. William Hedden, Dr. Stephen Gunn
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