There I was, sitting on my bed minding my own business. I thought, hey, now is a good time to do my implant exercises. So, I grabbed my breasts and pushed them up and in and held them in position. It was just at that moment that my daughter walked in and asked, "what in the heck are you doing?" I couldn't help but laugh and say, "Exercises! Why? Something strange?"
I'm four weeks post op and I'm well on my way with my regular stretching exercises, but there's another exercise I do that many don't know about. It's for the implants. While having a final follow up Skype chat with Dr. Chrysopoulo, we discussed the healing process, what to look forward to during further recovery, easing back into exercise programs and something called capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is when the sub muscular pocket that is formed around the implant tightens due to scar tissue, contracting the implant, thus making it feel, and look, firm. This is not comfortable nor is it attractive. This can happen to anyone, perfect surgery or not. It has been noted to happen in some cases where blood has collected around the implant or when a low grade infection infection has occurred. Serious cases need surgery to remove the scar tissue and set the implant free.
Dr. C told me I needed to start doing an exercise of sorts, daily, which would hopefully prevent this capsular contracture from happening. He described the process as pushing the implants up towards the collar bone and holding in place for about 20 seconds. I'm essentially sliding them up within the pocket that was created during surgery. It was the visual in my head that made me respond with, "so you want me to make awesome cleavage like a Victoria's Secret model?" To which he replied, "yes, exactly." See, now you have the visual too! Doing this exercise is supposed to help keep the capsule larger than the implant itself, therefore letting the implant settle more naturally and remain free from restraint.
In doing some research, I learned a little additional information regarding implants, exercise and capsular contracture. Apparently this is only done with smooth, non-textured and non-teardrop shaped implants. Reason being is the other types of implants are not meant to be moved, they are meant to adhere to the tissue around them, staying in one position and therefore creating a natural look. Otherwise, you might flip that teardrop and then what happens! Some doctors even say that having Alloderm, the piece of cadaver tissue that acts like a hammock supporting the implants, may help in avoiding the capsular contracture. Here's why. In order to have a full capsular contracture, the scar tissue has to form a complete "circle" around the implant, meeting all the way around. This layer of Alloderm prevents the scar tissue from building, like a force field. So, I'm two for two right now...smooth round implants and Alloderm.
I started this exercise about a week ago, it doesn't hurt at all, and I'll continue doing it for up to a year during the healing process. Its easy to do, doesn't take much time and in the long run, will hopefully help my implants look more and more natural over time.