When Is It OK to Have a Massage After Breast Augmentation?

Dr. David Stoker

Young woman on lying on massage table getting shoulders massaged

Do you love your regular massage appointments? Or perhaps you’re in the mood for 1 after spending time on the couch while you recover from breast augmentation? Either way, you might be surprised to learn that activity restrictions after plastic surgery aren’t limited to exercise and other heart-pounding hobbies. It’s also important to modify or postpone your massage for some time after your breast augmentation.

Staying off the massage table for several weeks after surgery can be tough, especially if you’re accustomed to having massages on a regular basis. But I tell my breast augmentation patients in and around Los Angeles that refraining from massages during the recovery period is paramount to getting good results.

Why It’s Important to Wait

The concern isn’t about the massage itself; the concern is about lying on your stomach. Any type of breast enhancement surgery requires you to sleep and rest on your back as much as possible. By keeping pressure off of the front of your body, you can allow your implants to settle into a favorable, natural-looking position with minimal complications.

After an implant is placed inside a breast, the body goes to work creating a capsule of tissue around it. This natural process is the body’s way of isolating a foreign object and protecting the rest of the body. Breast implants are not harmful to your body, however, it’s important to allow this process to proceed undisturbed. Once the breast capsule is fully formed, it holds the implant in place. Lying on your stomach for more than a few minutes before the capsule is fully formed can disrupt its formation and cause implant displacement or damage. The capsule doesn’t just protect the body from a foreign invader, it also protects the implant from impact.

Putting pressure on your breasts too soon after your breast augmentation can also put stress on your incisions, potentially delaying healing time and causing unnecessary scarring. During the initial 6 weeks after your breast enhancement surgery, it’s best to play it safe and avoid spending any significant length of time on your stomach.

Massage Options

If you’re craving the muscle-melting effects of massage therapy, there are some modifications you can make. Your massage therapist can likely offer you a chair massage, which requires you to sit upright. You may also have a massage while lying on your back. Although this doesn’t allow your massage therapist access to your back, he or she can work on your shoulders, neck, scalp, hands, legs, and feet. (Try to avoid putting too much pressure on the shoulders, however, since these muscles are often affected by breast augmentation.) For many of my patients, this approach is enough to tide them over until they can get back to their regular sessions.

Keep in mind that these guidelines apply to chiropractic care as well.

If you’re thinking about plastic surgery in Los Angeles, but are not sure if breast augmentation is for you, take a look at my before-and-after gallery to see what results are possible. You can also contact my practice to request a consultation at a time that works for you.

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