Is Swelling and Tightness After Breast Augmentation Normal?

I had breast implants put in 7 days ago. My breasts have become more swollen over the last three days and feel very hard; no pain, just tightness, aching/tingling. Is it normal to have these symptoms several days after the procedure? Most of the swelling is in the upper chest, above the nipple. My implants are under the muscle, 250cc Silicone gel.

Doctor Answers 35

Normal to have swelling after Breast Augmentation

Swelling after a breast augmentation is almost always seen. And, if can increase for several days after the surgery. So to be more swollen three to seven days after the surgery than you were immediately after the surgery, is common.

When the implants are placed under the muscle, the swelling appears higher on the breast, in the upper pole. This is because there tends to be more room for the swelling in this part of the breast than in the lower part of the breast. With the swelling there wil be more tightness.

The only thing to be concerned about would be if there was a very large amount of swelling, usually on just one side. This could mean that there was some bleeding around the implant. However, it does not sound as though this is the case.

While the swelling will dissipate as the healing process goes on, stretching of the chest muscles and massage may help. You may want to talk with you surgeon to see if there are other recommendations.

Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

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Swelling after breast augmentation lasts about two weeks


Swelling after breast augmentation will vary depending on your chest size and breast size relative to the implant size used, and also on the location, submuscular vs subglandular. The breast swelling typically begins several hours after and can increase over the next three to seven days. The breast will feel firm and shiny, and it is typical for the swelling to appear over the top of the breast.

For my patients I will use a soft cup bra without an underwire, which is worn 24/7 for the first two weeks. On top I use a breast band, an elastic strap around the chest to help with swelling and to hold the implant down and centered within the breast. This also holds the chest and muscle still and quiet reducing swelling.

Bleeding can also look the same way and can happen on one or both sides and can also feel like the ache in the breast as you describe. Bleeding is uncommon but see your doctor to be sure, and ask about the band on top if he thinks it is right for you. It may help you feel more comfortable.

Best of luck.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Increasing swelling after breast augmentation

Thanks for your question -

It is normal to have some swelling after breast reduction. The amount, timing and resolution can be somewhat variable depending on the techniques used and your body.

Generally swelling should improve over the next few days. Persistent or increasing swelling, especially on only one side, could represent a hematoma (a collection of blood).

Be sure to carefully discuss your situation with your plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

Some swelling and tightness following breast augmentation is not uncommon.

Some swelling and tightness following breast augmentation is not uncommon. This will depend on how tight the skin envelope is prior to augmentation, whether the implant is on top of the muscle, completely under the muscle, or partially under the muscle and the size of the implants used and your chest wall dimensions.

It may several weeks before you feel more relaxed and may be two to three months before the implants feel completely 'settled'. Having said this, some patients have very soft breasts one week following surgery.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

No pain, no gain?


The swelling that you describe may be normal. The concern would be whether you are developing a hematoma (bleeding under the tissues). If the swelling is pretty much equal on both sides, then hematoma is less likely. Call your operating surgeon. He/she would certainly like to know if there is something out of the ordinary. Good luck!

Swelling after breast augmentation is quite normal

What you are describing sounds quite normal, but if you have any concerns, the best person to evaluate you is your surgeon. Most of us are very happy to see our patients in these situations, if for nothing else than to reassure you that things are progressing normally.

My advice-- call your surgeon, set up a quick follow up visit; I'm sure he'll be happy to hear from you!

Dr. S

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Sounds like a common recovery experience so far

Hi there,

It sounds like you are experiencing a relatively average recovery for the procedure you had done. I would be concerned if, in addition to your swelling and tightness you also had lots of bruising and a black and blue appearance, but as long as you don't, I would expect the symptoms you're having to resolve over the next week or two (obviously improving as that time goes by). Wear your support bra and keep all of your appointments. Congratulations on your new form!

Tightness and swelling after Breast Augmentation are normal

Tightness and swelling after breast augmentation are normal expectations, but these tend to improve after three or four days. Certainly check with your surgeon to see if you do not have a hematoma or seroma developing. If not, give things time.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Swelling after breast augmentation can last for 3 weeks

Some swelling  and bruising is usually accompanies augmentation procedures and can last for approximately 3 weeks. In any case, it would be best to have your surgeon evaluate the situation yo see if he considers it to be "normal.

Barry H. Dolich, MD
Bronx Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Swelling and Tightness After Breast Augmentation

At one week post-op, this is a very common outcome and in your case is most likely quite normal. As a patient's body adjusts to breast implants, especially those placed under the muscle, some swelling and tightness is to be expected. This tends to improve as your healing progresses. If you have any concerns, though, contact your surgeon or other staff you have interacted with at your surgical facility. They can advise you further or set up a follow up appointment to make sure everything's going according to plan.

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.