Is Abdominal Swelling After Breast Augmentation Normal?

I had my BA done yesterday (3/14/13) with no complications. But today, my stomach has gone from being completely flat to appearing as if I am 5 months pregnant. Is this normal? If so how can I rid of this extra swelling around my center? It is not painful, should I Ice it like I was instructed to do to my breasts as well? Thank you in advance!

Doctor Answers 10

Postoperative bloating

Congratulations on your breast aug, unfortunately now it sounds like you are having some post operative side effects of the anesthesia or the pain medications you are using.  These medications have slowed down the movement of your GI tract causing your abdomen to swell.  Try using some over the counter milk of magnesia

Savannah Physician
4.8 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Abdominal swelling after breast augmentation

Thank you for your question. Abdominal swelling is normal after breast augmentation. Swelling follows gravity and thus your abdomen (and sometimes the thighs) will experience more swelling and add confusion to the post-op period. You may even notice that you've added many pounds on the scale that cannot be explained solely by the addition of implants. You should notice a decrease in the abdominal swelling with each week that passes by.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Abdominal swelling after breast augmentation

Localized abdominal swelling after breast augmentation may be related to swelling.  Bloating can occur with pain meds as it slows down the gi tract.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Bloating after breast augmentation

Thank you for your question.  

Abdominal bloating can occur after breast augmentation or any surgery for that matter.  During surgery, you get a variety of anesthetics and pain medicine which can slow down the motility of your GI tract and cause bloating.  Make sure to take a stool softener or laxative to keep things moving during the first week.  It will get better over time.  

Good luck.


Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Abdominal swelling after breast augmentation

Swelling in the abdomend can happen after breast surgery. This usually resolves in about a week. You may want to call your surgeon and discuss this with his/her just to be sure.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

Look pregnant after breast augmentation

It's pretty common for young women to have this concern from 1 - 3 days after breast augmentation surgery.  In my experience, this happens quite a bit in women in the 18-27 year age group.  I'm not sure why it doesn't seem to happen in women in their 30's and beyond.  Sometimes breast augmentation hurts.  Some women take quite a bit of narcotic pain medication after surgery.  One of the down-sides of narcotics is that they lock up the bowels and the bladder.  This feeling of bloating and looking pregnant goes away after the bowels start working again.  The best way to make that happen is to stop taking narcotics altogether, or at least minimize them.  Add to that a high fiber diet (lots of salads, fiber supplements) and some yogurt with probiotics (Activia, Yo-Plus for instance).  That usually does the trick.   If not, sometimes a laxative (from either end!) can help.  Call your surgeon and let him/her know this is going on.  Best of luck!

Kelly R. Kunkel, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Abdominal Swelling after Breast Augmentation?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast augmentation procedure. At this point, it is very likely that your bowel movements have not returned to normal. This may take 4 to 5 days after surgery to resolve. It is likely that once your bowel movements have returned to normal you will notice the abdominal wall “swelling”  will resolve.  I encourage my patients to  wean off of narcotics and to use high-fiber food, prune juice etc. to expedite this process.

 Best wishes.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Abdominal Swelling After Breast Augmentation

As the swelling in the breasts subside, gravity can cause the swelling fluid to fall into the upper abdominal area until this also reabsorbs.  When a forehead lift is done, the upper eyelids often swell postop as the forehead swelling falls.  Hope this helps.

Peter J. Simon, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Looking Pregnant after Breast Augmentation?

Hi Daisy,

It is very common to have swelling in the belly area, as well as bloating in general after breast augmentation.  Some girls are much more sensative to it than others.  Fluid shifts can happen after surgery that make you return large amounts of water.  This, although annoying, is nothing to be concerned about.  It will resolve over the next few days to weeks.  Icing may help a little, but try to not eat any salty foods, as this may exacerbate the problem.  

 Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Is Abdominal Swelling After Breast Augmentation Normal?

This is not too uncommon. The likeliest cause is constipation from narcotic pain medicines used during and after surgery. Stool softeners, laxatives, and suppositories are available without prescription. Getting off the narcotic pain meds when you can is the best  resolution.

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.