Is It Normal for One Breast To Swell More than the Other After Breast Augmentation?

I had breast augmentation 4 days ago, I was originally a 34B / 36A. I chose 450 CC implants for the surgery. Looking at my breast now it appears one is larger then the other- is it normal for one to swell more then the other? if you had to guess, what size do you predict I will be once all swelling is gone and do you think my breasts will even out in size?

Doctor Answers (14)

Uneven breasts after BA


No woman's breasts are perfectly symmetrical.  70% of woman have a larger left breast.  If the same size implants were used in both your breasts you should have no more volume difference when all is said and done (4-6 mpnths) than you did before surgery.  The swelling right after surgery can be uneven, but there is always a concern about bleeding and a hematoma.  If the difference is a lot you should see your surgeon soon for evaluation.  Otherwise time should even things out more.  As to size.... well so many variables enter into it that no one can say what cup you will be except that it should be more than  you started with.  You could end up with anything from a C to a DD.  Your surgeon should be able to tell you more precisely since he/she has the advantage of knowing your body measurements and tissue characteristics.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast implant asymmetry/size after augmentation?


Thank you for the question.

Some degree of asymmetry is a common 4 days after breast surgery. Unfortunately there is no way to know what cup size you will end up filling.

The more breast surgery I do the more I realize that there is no correlation between the size or model (profile) of implant used and resulting cup size.  This may have to do with several factors including: the amount of breast volume the patient starts with, the shape of the patient's chest wall (concave or convex), the type and model of breast implant selected (saline/silicone  and low/moderate/high profile), bra  manufacturer variance  in cup sizes, the  degree  of filling of the cup  with breast tissue,  and the subjective differences in patients perceptions of cup size. 
Much of the final “look” achieved after breast augmentation surgery  depends on several factors:

1. The initial shape, size (volume of breast tissue), symmetry of the patient's breasts. In general, the better the  preoperative breast appearance the more likely the breast augmentation “look” will be optimal.

2. The experience/skill level of the surgeon is important in determining the final outcome. For example, the accurate and gentle dissection of the breast implant pockets are critical in producing  long-term  well-placed breast implants. I personally think that these 2 factors are more important than any others, including type (saline or silicone)  or model (low/moderate/high profile)  of implant.

3. The type of implant used may  determine the final outcome, especially if the patient does not have significant covering breast or adipose tissue. For example, some surgeons feel that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants because silicone gel has a texture that is similar to breast tissue. Each patient differs in the amount of breast tissue that they have.  If a patient has enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the final result will be similar when comparing saline implants versus silicone gel implants.  If a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.
On the other hand, saline implants have some advantages over silicone implants. Silicone implant ruptures are harder to detect. When saline implants rupture, they deflate and the results are seen almost immediately. When silicone implants rupture, the breast often looks and feels the same because the silicone gel may leak into surrounding areas of the breast without a visible difference.  Patients may need an MRI to diagnose a silicone gel rupture.   Saline implants are also less expensive than the silicone gel implants.
Other differences involve how the breast implants are filled. Saline implants are filled after they’re implanted, so saline implants require a smaller incision than prefilled silicone breast implants.
On May 10, 2000, the FDA granted approval of saline-filled breast implants manufactured by Mentor Corporation and McGhan Medical. To date, all other manufacturers’ saline-filled breast implants are considered investigational.
As of 2006, the FDA has approved the use of silicone gel implants manufactured by the Mentor Corporation and Allergan (formerly McGhan) for breast augmentation surgery for patients over the age of 22.

4. The size and model of breast implant used may  make a  significant difference in the final outcome. Therefore, it is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" or "top heavy" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.
I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the breast implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible.
By the way, the most common regret after this operation, is “I wish I was bigger”.

I hope this helps.


Web reference:

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 626 reviews

Size differences after a breast augmentation


This soon after a breast augmentation, it is very common to have a difference in sizes due to swelling,. Swelling is almost always more on one side than on the other. To be sure it is swelling and not more blood on one side than the other, a visit to your surgeon is a good idea. In time that all balances out though. As to predicting a final size, ti is hard because there are many variables, especially the brand of bra you are going to buy. A guesstimate from what you are saying is likely somewhere in the small D range or so.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Implant differences


All breasts are a bit asymmetric.  At 4 days it is very hard to tell what the final shape will be. Unless there is a huge difference, with pain, and bruising, it is more likley routine post-op swelling.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Asymmetric swelling after augmentation


It is very common for your breasts to swell unevenly after augmentation.  It takes a full month for the implants to relax down into the pocket and look good - this also happens asymmetrically - so one may look higher or lower than the other at times.  It takes 3 full months for all the swelling to resolve and the breasts to get soft and natural feeling - then you look great!  Good luck.

Web reference:

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Not uncommon to have uneven breasts immediately after surgery


Your breasts may swll differently after surgery and in particular the position of your implants with one higher than the other is even more common.  This will improve in short order.  However, your uneven swelling may also represent a hematoma or blood collection.  Make sure you see you plastic surgeon regularly to be evaluated.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Healing after breast augmentation


the two breasts frequently swell differently.  if they were symmetric before and the same size implant was used. they will have equal volume after they heal

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Asymmetrical Swelling After Breast Augmentation


It certainly is not uncommon to have some slight difference in the amount of swelling between the breasts following augmentation mammoplasty.  However, if there is a marked difference in the degree of swelling, it may be caused by a hematoma (especially if accompanied by a good deal of pain).  If this is the case, you should inform your surgeon immediately.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast Asymmetry Early After Augmentation


It is very common in the early recovery from breast augmentation to have the two sides "behave" differently.  As a surgeon, I go to great lengths to try to get the two breasts to look as much alike as possible during surgery. By the next day one side may hurt more,may be more bruised, or have muscle spasm, or just have more difficulty getting used to the new implant.  Tha difference usually settles down within a few weeks.  Small differences are normal.  Large differences might mean a fluid collection  or hematoma.  Make sure you review your concern with your surgeon so he or she can make sure your progress is normal.

Web reference:

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Breast Swelling After Breast Augmentation


It is normal for the two breasts to behave differently after surgery, including the amount of swelling. However, you need to be checked by your plastic surgeon to be sure it's just swelling and not a hematoma (collection of free blood in the implant pocket). As for cup size, I would not make a prediction because there are too many variables, such as different bra manufacturers and the size of your chest wall. As long as you are happy with your appearance a few months down the line it doesn't really matter what cup size you are

Web reference:

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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