David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253
HKB Knoxville Staff

Caring For Your Breast Implants: Three Things to Know Now

Care-of-Breast-ImplantsWhat do I need to do to take care of my breast implants? This is a question that many of my breast augmentation patients in Knoxville, TN ask. It is not a trivial issue and it’s not like they come with a use and care manual.

So here are three recommendations about how to care for your breasts/breast implants that you may not know. In my experience, following these simple suggestions can go a long way in helping you to maintain the health and longevity of your breast implants.

Support Your Girls
Breast implants add weight to your breasts regardless of the size, I know, duh. But the shape of the breasts can be affected by this extra weight, particularly if there is a bit of looseness to your breasts to begin with. So, good support in your bras is a must. In days gone by, Playtex was a very popular brand especially the 18 Hour Bra. This is no minimalistic bra. It has a broad band and gives great support. There are many large breasted women who lived in these bras and experienced little or no sagging over time. It is strictly a matter of support. Fortunately there are a lot of very fashionable bras that give excellent support, just check out your latest Victoria’s Secret catalog.

Wearing good support in your daily bra is not all you need to do. I tell all my patients to get a good sports bra, particularly if you are into high impact aerobic work outs. These activities stress the breast tissues more than anything else. But also consider wearing your sports bra during activities such as hiking or horseback riding; you may just be more comfortable. Under Armour and Moving Comfort are a couple of manufacturers who make excellent products. Don’t be concerned if, when you first use your sports bra, it feels too tight. You will grow to appreciate the support and security.

Make Massage a Daily Routine
When it comes to taking care of breast implants, may women ask me how long they need to massage for? I heard one plastic surgeon at a meeting respond to this question with another question: “How long do you want to keep your breast implants?” Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but daily massage is probably not a bad idea. I tell women to just massage a bit each day in the shower. What you want to do is to make sure that the implants can be moved up and towards the middle of your chest. This way they will continue to move naturally like your own breast tissue.

Prepare for the Dentist
Now don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of good friends who are dentists. They are not the problem. The problem is the normal bacteria that live in your mouth. Perhaps I should explain.

When you have a dental procedure, including (especially) teeth cleaning, small amounts of bacteria will enter your blood stream for a short period of time. Usually this is not a problem. But there is always the possibility, however small, that they could end up some place where they are not wanted. This is why people with prosthetic heart valves or issues with their mitral valve may take antibiotics if they are considering some quality time with their dentist or dental hygienist. They don’t want bacteria messing up their heart valves.

There is growing anecdotal evidence that there could be a corollary with breast implants. While there have been no definitive scientific studies, some surgeons feel that similar precautions should be undertaken for women with breast implants. Here’s the reason: if these bacteria end up in the capsule around the breast implants, it is possible to develop a subclinical infection. This in turn can cause the capsule to thicken and the breast to feel firmer. That is to say, it can promote the formation of a capsular contracture.

Now women with breast implants have been getting dental procedures for years without problems. So this obviously won’t affect everyone. But there is no way to know who – if anyone – may be so affected. I have seen two or three women where there does seem to be a relationship between a dental procedure and the development of a capsular contracture. Because of the increased awareness that there could be a relationship here, and with the growing (albeit) anecdotal evidence, I have decided that this is something that women with breast implants should be aware of, and that they should consider steps to try and prevent this.

So what to do? Simple: one dose of oral antibiotics an hour or two before seeing the dentist, and two doses afterwards. Usually a broad spectrum oral antibiotic like Keflex (cephalexin) will suffice. This is a good thing to discuss with your dentist who can prescribe this for you. Going forward, this is something I will recommend to my patients.

These are just some simple things you can do to help maintain the look and longevity of your breast augmentation procedure. I’m sure you look great now and that the way we want it to stay!

All the best,
Dr. David B. Reath



David B. Reath, MD

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16 Responses to Caring For Your Breast Implants: Three Things to Know Now

  • Pingback: My pre-op yesterday - DOs and DONTs (long and detailed post) - Breast Augmentation, Breast Implants, and Plastic Surgeons Forums

  • Sue says:

    I was wondering. I have a grade 4 capsular contracture. I had breast CA 15 years ago and have a saline implant. I will need an implant exchange. Do you reccomend any particular impact that does better in NOT getting a contracture and more importantly, would massaging in this situate be help once the new impnat is placed ?

    Thanks Sue

  • David B. Reath, MD says:

    You will definitely do better with silicone implants. If the implants are round, massage may well be helpful. However, if you are using the highly cohesive, shaped silicone implants, massage is not recommended. Your best bet is to work with a board certified plastic surgeon who does a good amount of post mastectomy breast reconstruction.
    All the best,
    David B. Reath, MD

  • Wendy Cartright says:

    This is really great advice for taking care of breast implants! My sister has been saving up for quite some time and she will be able to have the surgery done in about two months. I will pass these tips along to her. Thanks for sharing.

  • David B. Reath, MD says:

    I am glad that these tips were helpful. I am happy to answer any questions that your sister may have.
    All the best,
    David B.

  • Elena says:

    Hi my name is Elena n my question is I have my breast implants done on May 2015 n I been having a little bet of pain on my right breast is something that need to worry about ? My breast are silicone

  • David B. Reath, MD says:

    Dear Elena,
    Thanks for your questions. It is not uncommon to have some pain related to breast implants form time to time. But without seeing you, I can not be for certain. If you are concerned it may be best to have your surgeon have a look at this.
    Sincerely yours,
    David B. Reath, MD

  • jane says:

    It has been 15 days since I got breast augmentation through my aerola, I have silicone implants. I want my scar to be unnoticeable what can I do to get a good result? Also when is it okay to get a spray tan?

  • Breast Implant Surgery says:

    What can you do to have healthy breasts?
    1. eating a variety of low-fat, high-fibre and whole grain foods;
    2. eating lots of dark green, orange and red vegetables and fruits daily;
    3. imiting the amount of alcohol you drink; and
    4. limiting the caffeine you drink or eat – coffee, tea, chocolate, cola and some other soft drinks may contain relatively high amounts of caffeine and sugar.

    In addition to these lifestyle choices, you may choose to:

    *Get to know what your breasts feel like so that you’ll know what is normal for you, and will recognize any changes that happen.
    *If you wear bras, wear comfortable loose-fitting bras and do not wear them to bed.

  • Leesa says:

    Please can you help me
    I had my 11 year 250cc replaced three weeks ago to 445cc high profile silicone they had slight capsulation not noticeable and at 45 had no sagging and my nipple was in the correct place
    Can I keep these new implants looking perfect with correct fitting bras and support at my age? I hope to God mine never end up on my belly button

    Thanks doctor

    • Dr. Reath says:

      Hey Leesa,
      Thanks for your questions. Maintaining your breast shape after breast augmentation is always a concern. Good support in a bra is key. There is a sports bra by Panache which is quite good. Avoid large fluctuations in your weight as these can have an effect on your breasts. Also massage once a day, moving your implants up and in .
      The fact that you have a mild contraction may actually be somewhat protective against a lot of moving of you implants or changes in the overlying tissues from you implants.
      One thing to bear in mind is that changes in your native breast tissue over time may be more of an issue than changes in your breast implants themselves.
      All the best,
      David B.

  • Anna collins says:

    It takes a few days for the implant to settle. Soon after the operation you may experience some muscle pain in your chest and back and the breasts may feel taut.
    Right after the operation, you may experience some muscle pain at the rib cage and in your back. Your breasts may also feel taut. It takes a few days for the breast implant to settle.

  • Callum Palmer says:

    Thank you for the great advice, my wife wants to get breast implants so I’ve been looking for ways to help her afterwords. Although, I have to say that I was not expecting any kind of dental impact as a part of the procedure. Although I suppose that it would make sense that you would not any bacterial like that anywhere near the implants or procedure site.

  • Penelope Smith says:

    I noticed that you pointed out that doing daily massages after getting breast implants can help them last longer. That is a good thing for me to know because I have been considering getting some in the near future.

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