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Breast Augmentation Questions

Will I have to massage my implants after surgery?
There are different opinions amongst plastic surgeons in regard to the benefits of massaging your implants to prevent capsular contracture. There have been no reputable studies demonstrating a benefit, so our board-certified plastic surgeons at Florida Plastic Surgery Group do not ask patients to massage their implants, as it results in unnecessary discomfort. In addition, if you have textured implants, massaging will be counterproductive since the purpose of the texturing is to allow tissue growth.

Will I be able to breastfeed after a breast augmentation?
According to studies, only about half the women with no prior breast surgery who attempt to breastfeed are able to do so. With the inframammary and minimally invasive breast augmentation (transaxillary) techniques, none of the breast tissue or glands are injured. Therefore, if a woman was able to breastfeed before her surgery, she could continue to breastfeed afterward.

Will I lose sensation in my nipples?
This is a very common breast augmentation question. The way your surgery is performed is critical to preserve the sensation to the nipples. The periareolar breast augmentation does have a slightly increased chance of changes in nipple sensation. However, if performed properly, all the techniques will result in normal nipple sensation for the majority of women. Patients should note that during the healing process and as the swelling resolves, nipple sensation may be diminished, but any lost sensation generally returns with time.

What is capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is the hardening of the capsule around the breast that can occur months to years after surgery. There are general 4 grades of capsular contracture, depending on the severity. The result is either one-sided or bilateral breast firmness as well as elevation of the breast mound.

What causes capsular contracture?
There has been no clear cause for the development of capsular contracture, but some evidence suggests that micro-infection of the breast pocket may predispose some patients to develop capsular contracture.

How can capsular contracture be prevented?
There is no foolproof way to prevent capsular contracture of the breast. However, there are number of techniques to minimize the chance of developing capsular contractures. The placement of older generation silicone implants in the subglandular position did result in a slightly increased risk of developing capsular contracture. Therefore, if you choose to have silicone implants, the placement of the implants in a subfascial or submuscular (under the muscle) position is recommended.

In addition, since there seems to be a correlation with bacteria around the pocket and the development of capsular contracture, the utmost attention to sterilization is important. Our plastic surgery team tries to eliminate any bacteria by using anti-bacterial solutions to wash out the pocket and to coat the implant prior to implant insertion. In addition, the implant is opened and touched by surgeon only after new gloves washed in an antibiotic solution are worn and the implant pocket is ready. This ensures almost no contamination from the skin or air.

Can capsular contracture be treated non-surgically?
There are no proven non-surgical means of treating capsular contracture. There have been a number of drugs and modalities that have been used with anecdotal reports of success. A leukotriene inhibitor named Accolate™ has been used by many plastic surgeons, but the potential side effects (i.e. liver damage) outweigh the limited unverified benefit. One of the newer less well-known non-surgical methods of treating capsular contracture in the early stages of its development is the using of transdermal non-steroidal anti-inflammatory patches. Please ask our plastic surgery team for more information about this nonsurgical treatment.

What is the surgical treatment of capsular contracture?
Generally the implant is removed and the scarred capsule is surgically removed from the breast. The implant pocket is then thoroughly washed with antibiotic solution and the implant replaced. A site change is also frequently performed if the implant was originally above the muscle to help reduce the chance of recurrence of the contracture.

If you have any additional questions about breast augmentation, breast implants, or recovery from these procedures, please contact us for an initial consultation.

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