Is It Normal for 1 Breast to Be More Swollen & Painful Than the Other 1 Week Post-Op?

I had breast augmentation done this past Monday, so im 6 days post-op, my right seems like its almost healed and not much pain at all but my left breast is still very painful!! I have shooting & burning pains & it is also a little more swollen than the right? It even makes my left arm feel numb all the way to my fingertips at times!!

Doctor Answers 5

Swelling After 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, 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.
Every patient recovers differently and each breast heals at its own rate. The shooting, burning pain you described could be nerve regeneration. It is imperative to follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon regarding your pain and throughout your recovery. 

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

6216 Fayetteville Rd
Durham, NC 27713

Pain after breast augmentation

Swelling on one side after breast augmentation is not uncommon; if you have marked swelling (usually with bruising) it may be a sign of a hematoma (blood colleciton) which your surgeon may need to address. It is always best to let your surgeon take a look and make sure.

Matthew Concannon, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

3115 Falling Leaf Court
Columbia, MO 65201

Pain and swelling post augmentation

Pain and differential swelling of the breasts is very common at one week after breast augmentation. Marked swelling on one side with significant pain can indicate a hematoma or bleeding. This should be evaluated by you board certified plastic surgeon.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

4741 E. Camp Lowell
Tucson, AZ 85712

Uneven swelling after breast augmentation surgery

Absolutely! It is almost the norm to have unequal swelling between the breasts after breast augmentation procedure especially at one week after surgery. The pain you are describing is also common but if persists you should check with your surgeon!


Wish you quick and successful recovery !!!!

Tal T. Roudner, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

550 Biltmore Way
Miami, FL 33134

One week after implants one breast swollen and tender

It can be normal for one breast to be slightly more swollen or tender than the other, however swelling and pain on one side can also indicate a complication such as bleeding or hematoma. Have your surgeon take a look to be sure.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

8901 West Golf Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016

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.