Surgical Concerns (pt 2)
Bruising & Hematoma: a hematoma is just blood that collects outside of the blood vessels; as in a bruise. Breast hematomas can occur after breast surgery. Small hematomas usually begin to clear up in a few days. Larger one’s can lead to inflammation or fibrosis. From Wikipedia: “Breast hematomas can sometimes lead to skin discoloration, inflammation, or fever. When a hematoma resolves, it may become fibrotic, leaving behind scar tissue. A resolving hematoma may liquefy to form a seroma.
Post-surgical breast hematomas can also impede wound healing and therefore impact the cosmetic outcome. Hematomas are furthermore one of the risk factors for breast surgical site infections. There is preliminary evidence that, after breast implant surgery, the presence of hematoma increases the risk of developing capsular contracture.”
Blood Flow: I have read of situations where the tightness of the implant can cause a restriction in the blood flow to the surrounding tissue. Issues surrounding restricted blood flow do not seem to be clearly defined or articulated from what I have found. I have not found this issue listed as a recognized complication. However, observance of this should be added to the list of items to be aware of in your post operative monitoring.
Drop & Fluff: As the post-operative process continues, the implants will drop into their final position and begin to fill out the breast area. It appears that this process commonly takes many months to complete. As no two people are the same, given the different sizes, types, and shapes of the implants, no two rates of drop and fluff are the same. There seems to be an accepted rule of thumb that this will take many months for this to complete. And if you are fitted with an ‘internal bra’ this timeframe would be different. And your two breasts may not drop & fluff at the same rate. These are things that you must be aware of, and monitor, and communicate with your surgeon about.
PostOp Massage: as part of your post-operative recovery, your surgeon will provide you with some exercises to help in the healing process. This will help the muscles get back in shape, help with inflammation, support the process of drop and fluff, among others. Your surgeon with outlines different aspects such as the frequency, duration, and type would be discussed. Both you and your surgeon should also discuss any types of creams, salves, etc. that can be used to soften the tissue, reduce the visibility of the incision scars, promote incision healing, relaxing the muscles, etc. A couple of the products I have seen discussed are Booby Butter and BioFreeze.
<u>Comment 1</u>: I was instructed to do “downward” massages at first after my 2 week appointment. Basically, lightly push down on the top part of the implant, so you can feel it at the bottom of your breast……. He also instructed me to walk my hands up a wall, so my hands were high above my head and stretch the pec muscles… I do this several times a day and whenever I think of it. I’m sort of tight in the mornings, so I usually do my first round of massaging in the shower.
<u>Comment2</u>: To my understanding it really depends on your doctor. I am 6DPO and my doctor said he wanted to go over massage techniques at my 1WPO appointment. I’ve talked to some people whose doctors did not want them doing any massages.
<u>Comment3</u>: I was told not to massage and honestly I couldn’t anyways because I felt so sore. I’m a month post-op and they already feel soft.