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Underarm Swelling Normal After BL/BA? (photo)

I will be 2 weeks post OP tomorrow following a breast lift with silicone gel implants and some lipo. (I also had a tummy tuck if that is relevant). I had a breast reduction 12 years previous. I have a lot of swelling in the "side boob" area, to the bottom of my armpits and slightly around the back. I am keep the bra on as my PS said, and loosened it when I swell, but even loose, the swelling hurts and gets quite bad. They're why I'm still taking some pain meds.

Doctor Answers (12)

Swelling at under arms after breast augmentation/lift


It's not unusual to have some degree of swelling at lateral chest wall/under arm areas after your surgery, especially if it's only 2 weeks post surgery. As long as it's not getting bigger or more swollen each day, it's ok to allow time for the swelling to subside. If you notice a build up of fluid that you can see or shifts when you change position, then you should notify your plastic surgeon because you may be forming a seroma (fluid collection). At any case, regular follow up visits with your plastic surgeon is always a good idea after this type of surgery.

Best Wishes,

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Swelling in the armpit area common after surgery


Swelling in the armpit areas is very common after breast lift.  Evaluating the progress and resolution of the swelling over time is the key to making sure it is normal swelling and not a complication.

Mario Diana, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Under arm Swelling after Breast Augmentation/Lifting Surgery?


Thank you for the question and picture. As you can imagine, your plastic surgeon is in the best position to advise  and/or reassure you after direct examination. Online consultants will not be able to do so,  despite best intentions.

Having said that, would not get usual to have some swelling in the area that you mention ( dependent fluid accumulation in the tissues)  considering the operations you have have performed.

 Again, for the most meaningful advise/reassurance touch bases with your plastic surgeon.

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 680 reviews

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Swelling at the lateral border of a breast lift incision may take a number of weeks to resolve.


The photo demonstrates a fairly typical appearance to the breast two weeks after a mastopexy. Any contour issues should improve with time as the swelling subsides.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Lift and Breast Aug Lateral Chest Wall Pain


    After a full breast lift and breast augmentation, lateral chest wall pain is very common.  In the absence of a fluid collection or hematoma, swelling is normal to have in this area. 

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Swelling two weeks after breast lift and augmentation


Thank you for the photo after your breast lift and gel implant augmentation.

  • The photo suggests you have localized swelling on the right side.
  • If you were my patient, I would want to see you.
  • Painful swelling 2 weeks after a breast lift/enlargement worries me. It may mean infection
  • Or it may be fluid that isn't infected or early, painful scar.
  • I suggest you call your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and ask to be seen promptly to determine the cause and treatment for this swelling.

Hope this helps. Best wishes. 

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Swelling should resolve


Given your previous surgery and combining your augmentation with TT, it is not uncommon to have this swelling. As long as it does not seem to be progressing then it should begin to resolve. It likely will be about 6 weeks from surgery before it has all but gone. I usually recommend lymphatic massage to people who have persistent swelling. Your breast tissue probably just has some impaired "drainage" from the previous reduction. The lymphatic massage might help open up new channels and speed up the process. Either way, my guess is that it will be fine. My only other suggestion would be to not try and be too active too quickly. The more lifting and exercise you do, the more swelling you may get. Hang in there. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

BVreast Lift and implant


Swlling is usually normal after surgery. Just make sure you do not have a seroma. Check with you plastic surgeon

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Post Operative Swelling


It is difficult to give an accurate opinion without an in-person exam. However, you are very early on in your recovery. It is not at all unusual to have swelling at this point. The swelling should resolve over the next 3 months or so as your healing progresses. If the swelling or pain appears to be getting worse contact your surgeon to be evaluated.

Best of luck.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fullness in the underarm area



Thank you for the question and the photo.  Given your surgical procedures several sources of fullness can be present in the areas that you describe including seroma, swelling, hematoma, excess fat.  It is hard to tell from the photo alone.  Your plastic surgeon would of course be the best person to answer this question for you since they also have knowledge of what the surgical procedure entailed.  Swelling will go away on its own.  The other sources of fullness in these areas would have to be re-evaluated.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 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.