In Breast Augmentation, Does Size Decrease As the Swelling Goes Down?

I had my surgery last Thursday, they are still swollen but I feel they are a bit bigger that what I have wanted. I went with 285cc under the muscle, I feel I should have gone with less than that, maybe 50cc less to make it a difference. I am 5´1, 90lbs, and BWD of 11cm. I was 32A looking to be a full B and now my surgical bra size is 34C. That´s a little too much for me. Does size decreases as the swelling goes down? How much do I have to wait for a redo going 50cc smaller?

Doctor Answers 20

Too big, too tight, too high, tot swollen after breast augmentation surgery.

Hi, thank you for your question.

You are at the very beginning of what is really a six month process as the tissues of your body relax and the implants settle over time.

I always tell my patients that they will look too big, too tight, too high, and too swollen right after surgery so that they won't panic the first week.

Unfortunately, patients don't get to see what the plastic surgeons sees in the operating room.  As you roll out to the recovery room the breasts begin to swell and the muscles begin to tighten.  Often there's some fluid that initially accumulates around the outside of the implant.  In the early stage when the muscles which are tight press on the implant it generally makes them look higher as well.

Over the next six months the body relaxes, the fluid absorbs, the muscles give way, the implants will see less upper portion fullness and will look lower and fuller on the chest.  It will generally take about three weeks before you begin to believe that changes are happening.

Unfortunately you really won't know if the size is exactly what you want for about six months but if you had good communication with your plastic surgeon chances are you'll be happy.  A paradox of this operation is of the people like you who are scared in the first week about 60 to 70% will eventually say hmm.... maybe I could've gone bigger?

I hope in the end you get exactly which are looking for, but a week after surgery is way too early to be worried that this is your final result.

Best wishes for a speedy and happy recovery.


Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

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Breast Augmentation Swelling

Dear Alice, Thank you for your post. It is very common to be about a size bigger right after surgery than what your final result will be. Swelling starts to occur right after surgery and tends to peak in the first week. After about a month you will have lost most of the swelling, but still not completely at baseline. After about another 3 months or so, you will have lost 99% of your swelling, but still you have a pretty good idea at 1 month. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on bras until 3 months as they might not fit perfectly after all the swelling goes away. Also, the more activity you have, the longer the swelling stays, the more that needs to be done as far as lift etc. with surgery, the longer your swelling stays. Best Wishes! Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Unhappy with size at one week

I generally tell my breast augmentation patients that if they are happy with their size the first week, I have chosen the wrong implant. You are swollen, your implants haven't dropped yet and you still probably don't feel great after surgery. This is not the time to make any decisions about your result. You will see some changes over the next several weeks and months, give yourself time to heal and to get used to your new look. Remember you hired an artist not a technician, trust your surgeon and give it some time, I bet in 6 months you'll love your breasts.

Good luck to you!

Thomas B. Lintner, MD, FACS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

In Breast Aug, Does Size Decrease As Swelling Goes Down?Answr:

yes the size will go down and you should give it 6-8 weeks, not just for swelling but to allow them to rotate and settle a bit, as that will change the appearance as well.. But you do not have very big implants and 50cc is very minimal so my guess is give it time and I'll bet you'll love them!!!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Swelling after breast augmentation

At less than one week post-op, your breasts are still quite swollen, possibly by as much as 10-20% over your final size.  So try to be patient.  You should already have noticed some of the swelling going down by now.  This trend will continue steadily, but it will probably take about 3 months until you are pretty much at your final size.

Recovery Following Breast Augmentation Takes Time

Unfortunately at only one week post-op it's still too early to know what your final result will be. It can be difficult and frustrating to have patience after your surgery, especially if you've been wanting this for yourself for a long time. The good news is, you will likely end up with a final result that is closer in line with what you want. Breast size tends to decrease as swelling does. If you discussed your goals and expectations with your surgeon prior to your procedure, it's likely that the implant that was used was best suited to what you hoped to achieve. Wait at least 4 months, if you still have concerns, you might wish to talk to your doctor.

Post Augmentation Swelling and Assessing Results

You are early in the healing process, and way too premature to evaluate the results. Allow your body to heal for 6 months. At that time, you can assess if the surgery met your goals/objectives.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

You are definitely still swollen

It is certainly too early to evaluate the size of your breasts, as the swelling is going to make them look larger than they actually will be. 50 cc is also a small difference and I would not recommend another surgery to get a very minor change in their size. You should be seeing your surgeon regularly for follow-up visits and should discuss your concerns with him/her at that time. Best of luck. 

David Rapaport, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Too early to worry

You are too early after the surgery to worry about the results yet.  Things continue to settle over the first 6 months.  Most patients who worry about the size at this point in their recovery are happy at 6 months.

Swelling Affects Breast Size After Breast Augmentation

It is still too early to determine the true results of your breast augmentation. Your breast size will probably decrease as swelling subsides over the course of a couple of weeks. You body will adjust to the implants over about three to four months, and you'll find that their shape becomes more natural in appearance. They won't be as high and tight. This allows for the implants to settle more into a better position with the help of gravity. A gradual redistribution of volume from the upper to the lower breast occurs, resulting in an enlargement and rounding out of the lower breast.

You'll want to wait at least until the four month mark after your surgery before considering revision.

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.