I chuckle a little bit every time I hear “every surgeon has a different method of doing things!" But... it really doesn’t surprise me.
That’s because, every surgeon, every surgery and every recovery is different. So the way your surgeon does things is based on their own knowledge and personal experience.
If you turn to the Internet for answers to your breast augmentation questions, expect lots of different answers.
That’s why it’s best to take your internet research with a grain of salt... and be sure to ask your own surgeon for the answers to your questions.
Here’s just a few ways surgeons may approach things differently:
Drains or No Drains
Drains aren’t actually used routinely in breast implant surgery. The two main reasons drains might be used is:
- if you get textured implants - to help limit fluid around the implant because the body needs to "stick" to the textured implant surface. Fluid build-up could interfere with that. Or,
- if there’s concern about bleeding (there is usually minimal blood loss with a BA). More complicated surgeries (e.g. revisions and lifts) may need them.
If you ask and your surgeon says they’ll be using drains, ask why. Some surgeons use them in all their surgeries. It seems to be down to personal technique/preference.
Many surgeons have very specific beliefs about bra usage after breast augmentation. After surgery your surgeon will advise you on what their bra rules are.
It could be: no bra, a soft bra, a sports bra or a compression bra.
Going braless is advised by some surgeons until the implants have dropped into position.
When a supportive bra is recommended it’s to protect the tissues, hold dressings in place, and prevent extra movement of the implants.
Some surgeons like a tighter compression bra as they feel it helps control swelling and adds support in the early healing period.
And... (although I don’t hear it happening too often) some surgeons recommended use of a wired bra straight away... if they do it may be to define a new inframammary fold (basically when they alter the crease under your breasts).
There is no evidence to suggest whether any type of bra is beneficial though... so your surgeon is recommending what they do based on their experience and what they have seen work best for them.
Strap or No Strap
Sometimes after a breast augmentation, your Plastic Surgeon may recommend you wear a strap across the top of your breasts.
Guess what... whether or not you have a strap after surgery depends on your own unique circumstances and that of your surgeon.
Some surgeons feel in the early healing period they help. Breasts will drop naturally but a strap may help speed up the process or help if implants are being stubborn about dropping in to place.
Massage or No Massage
Breast massaging can be a controversial subject. Some recommend it and others don’t think it does much.
Massaging won’t fix incorrectly placed implants (if they look wrong always consult your surgeon) and there’s not a lot of evidence proving that it prevents capsular contracture.
The benefit to breast massaging (if you’re told to do it) seems to lie in speeding up the process of softening implants. In which case, it’s more accurate to refer to this as “breast implant displacement exercises”. The theory: that movement of the implant (as directed by your surgeon – don’t try this at home without being told to) is to maintain the implant pocket that was created during surgery to maintain a soft and supple breast appearance.
All surgeons have some degree of differing opinions about almost everything to do with a breast augmentation. My points mentioned above certainly aren’t all the differences there are!
Pick a surgeon you trust and then trust their judgement with their recovery protocols. If they consistently get good results with the way they do things, then you are in good hands.
And... whatever your surgeon says - do it. He/she knows your situation best! Always follow YOUR surgeon’s instructions.