How Long After Getting Breast Implants Will Tightness Go Away?

I had my breast augmentation on March 23rd, 2012 and its been 5 days Post-op today and I was wondering how long it takes the tightness on my chest to go away?

Doctor Answers 12

Breast tightness will resolve over weeks to months

I always instruct my patients that in the early stages following breast augmentation, their breast implants can be expected to appear high, tight, and somewhat unnatural.  This is NORMAL.  Your tissues are now stretched out to accommodate additional volume (breast implants).  Tissues also swell and retain fluid following surgery.  Over the course of weeks to months, your tissues will become less swollen, and will soften and stretch to accommodate the volume of your implants.  This allows the implants to settle into a more natural position, and look and move more naturally.  You will see significant changes in the first 3-4 weeks, and your tissues will continue to soften visibly in the first 2-3 months.  Make sure to follow all of your Plastic Surgeon's instructions regarding bra wear, implant massage, and activity restrictions.

All the best,

Dr. Skourtis

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

About three to four months

Tightness is common after breast augmentation. It will take about three to four months for your body to adjust to the implants, and natural tissue expansion will gradually occur so that your breasts settle into a more natural contour.  

Time is the Best Medicine

About 6-12 weeks is the typical time it takes for implants to stretch and settle within the pocket created by the surgeon and your anatomy.  It can take longer if they are larger implants and if there has been no previous stretch from pregnancies or weight changes. 

Tripti Burt, MD
Plainfield Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Breast tightness after surgery.

Thank you for your question. Congrats on the surgery. It may take months for the breasts to soften, and they may never soften to the pre-surgical state. In addition, the greater the implant to breast tissue ratio, the more the implant will affect the longterm firmness (or softness) of the breast. I would exercise patience and see how things change with every few weeks that pass by.

Tightness is very common, and will subside....

It’s not unusual for patients to complain of tightness of the chest following breast augmentation surgery. This tightness is related to spasm of the chest wall muscles and swelling of the adjacent soft tissue.It’s more common when implants are placed beneath the muscles but can occur with subglandular placement as well.
In an effort to minimize these symptoms, a variety of strategies have been utilized.Swelling is managed with compression and support bras.Although swelling can be significant in the early post-operative period, it tends to resolve rapidly.
Chest wall tightness can also result from spasm of the chest wall muscles.When this occurs, muscle relaxants and massage are helpful.Massage of the back helps relax the anterior chest wall muscles.These muscles are connected by layers of fibrous tissue, and for this reason, massage of the back can help alleviate spasms in the frontal muscles which cover the breast implants.
With time, these symptoms improve and patients are ultimately happy.If you have tightness following breast augmentation, make sure you discuss the issue with your plastic surgeon.

Tightness Post Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question. I have included some typical expectations of breast surgery recovery and signs to watch for following breast augmentation:

  • Stiffness, tightness, swelling and bruising in the chest region: These are normal experiences as the skin, muscles and tissue heal. Pain medication and muscle relaxants will help you cope with any discomfort. Consistent sharp pain should be reported to your board-certified surgeon.
  • Hypersensitivity of nipples or lack of sensitivity: This is normal and will gradually resolve over time.
  • A mild to severe itchy feeling of the breasts is possible as healing progresses. An antihistamine like Benadryl can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness. If the skin becomes red and hot to the touch, contact your board-certified surgeon immediately.
  • Asymmetry, the breasts look different, or heal differently: Breasts may look or feel quite different from one another in the days following surgery. This is normal. No two breasts in nature or following surgery are perfectly symmetrical.
  • Discuss returning to work with your board-certified surgeon, in our office it is typically 3-5 days post-surgery but you may not overexert yourself or do any heavy lifting.
  • You may resume exercise and your normal routine at six weeks unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
If you have any concerns regarding your recovery, please follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon.

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Give it time to stretch

As others have said, it will take time. Most everyone will experience tightness in the beginning. The less breast tissue that you have to start, the tighter it will be and longer it takes to settle and stretch. A larger implant placed will also require a longer time for things to settle. If they are below the muscle, this anatomy needs to give as well. Regardless of all these factors, be reassured, it will always get better with time.

Scott R. Brundage, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Chest wall tightness with implants

I assume you mean skin tightness.  If this is the case, then you will have to expect tit may take several weeks to months for the tissues to become soft from the procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Chest tightness after a breast augmentation generally lasts 2 months...


Generally speaking patients experience tightness after a breast augmentation until the chest wall muscles have had time to lengthen. This period of time is approximately 2 months. Patient perception of tightness however is variable and really depends on the position and size of the implants. You should discuss this with your surgeon.


Chest tightness after breast augmentation

The tightness resulting from augmentation typically takes about a month to resolve and should improve gradually. The speed with which it will resolve is related to implant size, the laxity of your breast tissue and implant placement. Be patient and keep seeing your plastic surgeon in followup.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.