How Much Smaller Will my Breasts Get Once Swelling Goes Down? Im Worried I Went Too Big?

I recently had a BA surgery. I am 5'0'' and 110 lbs. I was a 32a and had 350cc implants put in, submuscular. Its been a week after surgery and I'm really worried I went to big. They're about D'c right now and I was looking for about a C cup. I hate how I look top heavy now and am becoming more and more self conscious, how much will the swelling go down?

Doctor Answers 11

Swelling depends largely on surgeon and surgical technique.

Your 350cc implants can be expected to add about 1 1/2 cup sizes to whatever breast volume you started with, but "too big" is one of those subjective assessments that depend on so many factors.

Careful surgery with precise technique (even below the muscles) yields almost no bruising and usually minimal swelling, but there are still surgeons who use blunt dissection, minimal cautery bleeder control, and toss in a drain to evacuate the bleeding. These surgeons also usually use a surgical bra or Ace bandage wrap to help put pressure on bleeding vessels. The usual result is LOTS of bruising, LOTS of swelling, and a somewhat longer more uncomfortable recovery for their unwitting patients. (And, a higher risk of capsular contracture or re-operation.)

Even if you had the most careful, precise operation possible and hardly any bruising or swelling, your tissues still have to accommodate to the presence of your implants, and you can expect your breasts to soften, settle, and drop over time. This is usually perceived as decrease in size and improvement in natural appearance and softness.

Also, if you buy your bras at Victoria's Secret you may fit best into a D-cup bra, but bras by most other manufacturers will be a C-cup with equally-good fit. The letter on the label does NOT determine your breast size, any more than a particular shoe size should be considered "gospel."

Be patient with yourself, and don't worry. Keep up a dialogue with your surgeon, who wants you to be as happy as possible! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

How Much Smaller Will my Breasts Get Once Swelling Goes Down? Im Worried I Went Too Big?

Ok, take a deep breath. Try to relax. One week out is so early. Fist, the implants re likely high on the chest wall and the skin is tight because you started out pretty small it sounds like. Many things will happen over the next few MONTHS. Skin will stretch as will the pectoralis muscle and the implants will begin to drop into a more natural position. It is so common for patients to feel remorse the first week out. Swelling will go down and things will change, but over months not days or weeks. Give this time and I think you will be happy in the long run. In my experience few patients come back wanting to be smaller. Most want to be bigger. If you trust your surgeon and communicated what you wanted well then I am sure things will work out. Most likely you will get used to your new breasts in the next few months and you will smile once again.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast Augmentation and swelling


    There is always some swelling and tension in the  early stages of healing after breast augmentation along with excess bulging of the pectoralis muscle. The breasts can therefore appear too large or full in the upper pole.  This usually resolves in one month as the muscle relaxes  and the implants settle into place. An A to C cup is a significant size enhancement  and requires some time for you to become accustomed to your new look.  It's best to allow for proper healing prior to judging exact bra cup size.

Pedy Ganchi, MD
Ridgewood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Breasts Too Large after Breast Augmentation?

I'm sorry to hear about the concerns you have after your procedure.

You should be aware that a significant percentage of patients at your stage of recovery will feel that they are too big or (more commonly) too  small.
I routinely ask my patients  to wait at least 3-6 months before   evaluating the end results of the breast augmentation surgery.  This waiting time allows patients to (uaually) physically and psychologically adapt to the new body image.  

There are both physiological and “psychological” reasons to wait on having  revisionary surgery. From the physiological standpoint, it takes many months ( and even up to one year) to see the final results of surgery. factors such as swelling,  tissue contraction,  skin redraping,  implant shifting etc. come into play.

From the psychological standpoint, patients undergo an “adaptation period"  during which time they get used to the changes that the surgical procedure has brought about.  Severe emotional swings can also occur after any type of surgical procedure.

Obviously, it is best for patients not to be making important decisions ( for example about the results of surgery and/or the need for additional surgery) while they are experiencing these emotional “ups and downs”.

In your case, I would suggest continued patience. Continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

There Is Not A Lot Of Swelling After Breast Augmentation


Breasts do not really go down very much after implants.  Implants that are a little large for your frame will be round on top.  The good news is that many patients adapt to this look with time.  So be optimistic and wait a few months.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast is too big after augmentation

Often the skin envelope is tight and the implants have not settled in and melded with the breast proper. Over time the implant will shift and soften and before you judge you have to give things time. If you worked well with your surgeon and he knew your goal, the result will be right.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

How Much Smaller Will my Breasts Get Once Swelling Goes Down? Im Worried I Went Too Big?

It is common for the implants, when placed under the muscle to look just fine in the operating room, while the chest muscles are relaxed, and then, when the patient awakens and the muscles are back to normal, that those muscles displace the fluid upward and cause the implants to look as though they are too high. This almost always resolves but may take 1-3 months.

The implants were positioned as if they are sitting at the bottom of an envelope. The breast fold keeps him from going any lower. The upper portion is in empty space between the pectoralis muscle and rib cage. When that muscle presses down on the implant doesn't actually move the implant but this places the fluid upward. Over several months and as that muscle relaxes, the implants will look the way they should.

At this time your past that is to continue with massage. A compression band might also help speed up the process. Check with your surgeon if you don't already have one available. Thank you for the question,  and best wishes

Swelling and breast size

Thank you for your question. During the post-operative period the breast are swollen, and the breast implants appear in a much higher position. Over time they descend and fills out the lower half of the breast. It may take several months for this to happen and can be encouraged with breast massage and compression. After the swelling goes down the breasts will appear smaller.  However, as the implants settle, it may appear that the breast enlarges as the lower aspect of the breast fills out (at the expense of the upper portion of the breast).

Swelling will take a few weeks to resolve... be patient.

We frequently see patients who express concern about the size of their breast implants following breast augmentation surgery. In some cases, this occurs in the immediate post-operative period. The majority of these patients are concerned that their breasts are too big rather than too small. As swelling subsides, most of them are ultimately happy with the breast size.
Immediately after surgery, it’s hard to make judgements about breast size because of swelling and muscle spasm. It may take weeks for the majority of swelling to resolve. In addition, muscle spasm can increase upper breast fullness and make the breasts look larger than they really are. This may also take weeks to resolve.
Many patients also experience transient adjustment reactions following breast augmentation. These patients have difficulty adjusting to larger breasts and often feel as if people are staring at them. With the passage of time, most of them are able to adjust to their new implants. Eventually, they may even forget that the implants are there. The adjustment process varies from patient to patient but may take months.
Immediately following surgery, it’s not unusual to see patients who feel that their breasts are too large. After several months, they adjust to their new implants. They feel that their new breasts fit nicely on their body and they are happy with their results. Occasionally, some of these patient request even larger implants.
If you have concerns about breast size following breast augmentation surgery, you should communicate with your plastic surgeon. He has dealt with this situation in other patients and can address many of your concerns. With time, many of these concerns may resolve without intervention. Ultimately, you may still be very happy with your breast augmentation.

Wait three to four months before assessing results

The size of your breasts at the moment is definitely being affected by swelling, but it is difficult to say by how much this swelling is affecting your breast size. In a few more days, the swelling and bruising will gradually subside, and for the majority of patients, most swelling will resolve within 2 weeks of your surgery. Your implants will gradually settle in the weeks after surgery (aka "drop and fluff").  This normally takes about three to four months, so i suggest waiting until then before you assess your results. If you're still unhappy with the size of your breasts, then you can consider revision surgery.

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.