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How to Maintain Your Breast Implants

How to Maintain Your Breast Implants

There is nothing positive about the term ‘high maintenance’.  You do not necessarily want this title, and nor do your breast implants.   However, while it is easy to assume that once you have breast augmentation, you are set for a lifetime, breast implants do need a bit of tending to. Your implants will not become high maintenance if you take good care of them.  Every so often, check up on them to make sure things are going well.  Following the advice of your surgeon, you will help you enjoy those implants for years to come.

Massage is a Must:

Breast augmentation involves the creation of a pocket for the implant to rest in. Your body will heal after the surgery, which sometimes causes the pocket to become smaller, and the scar tissue get tougher. Massaging the breast area regularly, and performing exercises normally demonstrated to you after the surgery, will help ensure the pockets stay open and keep the scar tissue soft.  Implant massage reduces the risk for capsular contracture, a complication that can occur when the scar tissue clamps around and squeezes the implant.  Routine massage also helps to create a natural feeling breast.

Your surgeon will most likely tell you to massage the area frequently, about every 30 minutes, for the first six weeks after the surgery (during waking hours).  After the first six weeks, you’ll be advised to keep massaging, at least twice a day, to keep the pocket wide and the scar tissue soft.  It is also a good idea to continue massage your breasts, especially after you get up and right before bed.

Know When to Go Back Into a Normal Bra:

You may be excited to wear a cute bra right after your breast augmentation, to show off the your chest.  This also seems like a good idea to keep your new implants in place.  That is not the case.  It is typically recommended that you skip the bra for the first six weeks or so.  Wearing a bra can keep your implants from settling into their natural place on your chest.

After those first six weeks, though, it will be a good idea to put on a supportive bra again. Look for one that provides a good amount of support, with a wide band.  If you are used to working out regularly, you will want to make sure you get a quality sports bra, too.  A supportive sports bra will feel pretty tight when you first put it on. However, it needs to be tight enough to keep your breasts in place during any sort of high intensity physical activity.

Go for Check-Ups, No Matter What:

Your plastic surgeon is going to want to see you fairly regularly after your surgery.  After you are healed, while you won’t be required to go yearly, you will still want to check in from time to time to make sure all is well with the implants.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends seeing your doctor for imaging of the implants after the first three years, especially if you have silicone implants. While silicone implants are not likely to leak or break, if there is a leakage, the only way to see it is with imaging, as the thick gel will stay in the implant and won’t seep out.  If you have saline implants, you might not require imaging, as any leaks will be clearly visible (the implant will deflate), but the in-person exam is still a good idea.

Along with getting imaging performed as needed, it is a good idea to routinely check in with your surgeon to discuss how you feel about the implants. After a few years, you might want a change, and to go either smaller or larger, for example.  You will feel better knowing if your implants are in good shape, and what options are available should you want a change.

Finally, it’s important to monitor the health of your breasts, even with implants.  Your doctor will most likely recommend getting a clinical breast exam every few years, or possibly every year, depending on your age. After age 40, a regular mammogram might also be recommended, depending on your risk for breast cancer.

Be Cautious About Other Treatments:

If you are seeing a different doctor for another treatment or standard procedure, it is important to mention your implants. There is a small risk of infection when you have implants, and your doctor might want to prescribe antibiotics to considerably lower that risk.  For example, if you are about to get your teeth cleaned by a dentist, there is a rare, yet potential chance that the bacteria found in your mouth during the cleaning can get into your bloodstream.  This can travel to the area of the implant. Since it’s a foreign object, your implant might be a more likely target for infection than other areas of the body.  Although women with implants can see their dentists for years with few problems, it is always better to be safe.

Are you ready for breast augmentation and want to learn more about taking care of your implants after surgery?  Talk to Dr. Paul Vitenas, the leading plastic surgeon in the Houston area.  Dr. Vitenas performs hundreds of breast augmentation surgeries every year and has been rated a top doctor for more than a decade. To make your appointment, call (281) 484-0088 or use the Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery online contact us form.