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Can you massage your breasts too much after breast augmentation?

Getting a breast augmentation can be an exciting process, allowing you to achieve the breast size and shape you desire. During recovery, it’s common to want to massage your breasts to help improve circulation and prevent capsular contracture. However, some women wonder if it’s possible to massage their breasts too much after surgery.

Why massage your breasts after augmentation?

There are a few key reasons why breast massage is recommended after a breast augmentation:

  • Improves blood circulation – Massage helps blood and lymph fluid circulate properly through the breasts, bringing oxygen and nutrients to help with healing.
  • Prevents capsular contracture – Massage helps break down scar tissue and prevent hard, painful capsules from forming around the implants.
  • Reduces swelling – Gentle massage can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Softens breast tissue – Massage keeps breast tissue soft and pliable.

Most surgeons recommend massage starting a few weeks after surgery once initial swelling has gone down. It’s typically advised to massage for 5-10 minutes per breast 2-3 times per day.

Signs you may be overdoing breast massage

Massaging your breasts is important after a breast augmentation, but there is a point where you can overdo it. Signs you may be massaging too aggressively include:

  • Experiencing significant pain or discomfort during or after massage.
  • Noticing bruising several weeks after surgery.
  • Feeling burning or strain in the chest muscles.
  • Seeing changes in breast shape from excessive handling.
  • Having very red, inflamed skin over the breasts.

You want the massage to feel therapeutic but not be causing new pain or issues. The breasts should not feel sore for hours after massage. Any concerning signs should prompt you to ease up on massage intensity and frequency.

Tips for safe, effective breast massage after augmentation

To maximize the benefits of breast massage without overdoing it, the following tips can help:

  • Wait 2-3 weeks after surgery before starting massage so initial swelling and trauma can improve.
  • Always start with light, gentle strokes using your fingertips – no deep kneading.
  • Move smoothly over the surface of the breast using circular and sweeping motions.
  • Use a moisturizer or oil to allow your hands to glide gently over the skin.
  • Aim for 5-10 minutes per breast just 2-3 times per day.
  • Increase pressure gradually over several weeks if tolerated.
  • Avoid massaging directly over the incision sites until fully healed.
  • Stop any massage that feels painful, causes bruising, or changes breast shape.

Being patient and slowly increasing massage pressure is key. Talk to your surgeon if you have any concerns.

When to stop breast massage after augmentation

Unless instructed otherwise by your surgeon, breast massage is typically recommended for at least several months after augmentation and ideally continued long-term a few times per week. Reasons you may want to limit or stop breast massage include:

  • Your surgeon advises you to stop if you are massaging too aggressively.
  • You develop an infection or wound healing complications that your surgeon wants to settle before restarting massage.
  • You no longer feel hard, immobile areas in the breasts, indicating capsular contracture is unlikely.
  • Your breasts are soft with no recurrent swelling or inflammation.
  • You are more than 1 year post-surgery with no signs of capsular contracture forming.

Even if you discontinue regular massage, it is still smart to massage your breasts occasionally long-term to promote breast health.

When to seek medical advice

See your plastic surgeon promptly if you notice any of the following after breast massage:

  • Significant or worsening pain and tenderness
  • Development of hard, immobile lumps in the breast
  • Changes in breast shape, size, or symmetry
  • Worsening breast swelling or redness
  • Bruising that increases or does not subside
  • Discharge or bleeding from the incision sites
  • Fever, chills, nausea or other signs of illness

Any of these could indicate a complication such as infection, hematoma, or capsular contracture that needs medical assessment. Sudden new pain or swelling in just one breast after massage could signify a problem.

Breast massage techniques after augmentation surgery

Here are some specific massage techniques that can help maximize benefits after breast augmentation:

Circular massage

  • Use your fingertips to make gentle circular motions over the surface of the breast.
  • Gradually widen the area you are massaging outwards in a spiral pattern.
  • Perform massage in all quadrants of the breast using light pressure.
  • Repeat for 5-10 minutes per breast.

Sweeping strokes

  • Use gentle sweeping motions with your fingertips from the top to bottom of the breast.
  • Follow the natural contours of the breast shape as you sweep over the surface.
  • Repeat long, smooth strokes covering the entire breast area for 5-10 minutes.

Static compression

  • Gently cup your hands over the breast without moving.
  • Slowly increase pressure holding for 30-60 seconds.
  • Release and repeat, gradually working around the entire breast.
  • Can help break up areas of hardness.

Implant displacement

  • Gently nudge the implant in all directions to maintain pocket stretch.
  • Avoid forceful displacement that causes pain or changes breast shape.
  • Helps prevent capsular contracture.

Lymphatic drainage

  • Perform very light circular pumping motions with fingertips from chest to armpit.
  • Follow lymph node pathways above the breast and into the armpit.
  • Helps stimulate lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling.


Performing proper breast massage after augmentation surgery is important to help shape and soften the breasts and prevent complications like capsular contracture. While regular massage is key, overdoing it too aggressively can cause issues as well. Pay attention for any signs of pain, bruising or changes after massage. Being patient and gradually increasing massage pressure under your surgeon’s guidance can help maximize the benefits safely long-term.