I am 5 days post op and tiggling, tightness, stiffness feeling in the chest, is this normal?

I guess I am not sure what to expect as far as the next few weeks. Now that I seen that they are normal appearence wise, i am curious if the tightness, tingling and still swollen feel is a normal feeling? Does "dropping" mean they will get a tad bigger as they drop and swelling goes down? I am just nervous that these feeling arent normal even when i am told they look great!

Doctor Answers 9

5 days post op

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Dear boobenvy2,

The sensations you are feeling are normal at this time. This is your body beginning to heal and your skin stretching to accommodate the implants. The swelling can take a few months to subside and the implants will then begin to feel softer and more natural. It is always best to see your operating surgeon with any concerns. I wish you the best of luck!

1 week post op, some advices:

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Thanks for the question.

In my practice, after performing a BA I recommend to my patients to limit the movement of the arms for two weeks. After that, you can move your arms taking care and always with common sense. 
In this regard, it's not advisable to carry heavy weights to prevent the implant out of position, and allow the formation of the physiological capsule around the implant, also to avoid pain and breast swelling. 

Kind regards

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 372 reviews

So Far So Good

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After breast augmentation the breasts swell from the trauma of surgery and the tissues become inflamed and edematous. In addition, the implant is putting pressure on the surrounding tissues.

There are often sensations such as tightness, burning, sharpness, tearing, and pulling can come and go as the tissues heal and the swelling and inflammation subsides. Most often these sensations are due to irritation of nerves in the post-operative period and not any source of concern. 

As you get further from the surgery, the tissues begin to stretch from the weight of implants and the breasts begin to settle. This “drop and fluff” often occurs in the first few months after surgery as the edema finally escapes and the soft tissues and muscles relax.

This process is often asymmetric as the breasts relax and settle at their own rates. In fact, slight asymmetry is often the rule opposed to the exception - especially as most breasts are asymmetric to begin with. In all, it usually takes 3 to 6 months to see a final result.

I do not see anything concerning in the photos, however, your surgeon is the one positioned best to guide you through this process.

Close follow-up with your surgeon is essential.

Drop & Fluff

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It sounds as though everything you are describing is quite normal at this point in your recovery. Over the next week or two, swelling will mostly resolve, however the breasts may look high and feel tight for a few months.

Drop & Fluff means that as tissues soften, the implants will settle downward more into the lower pole of your breast and the upper poles won't look boxy and swollen any more. Sometimes the breasts appear a little bigger as tissue softens and the implants fill out the breast. The process will take 2-6 months so you will need to be patient to see your results,

All the best

I am 5 days post op and tiggling, tightness, stiffness feeling in the chest, is this normal?

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Thank you for your question. They will continue to change in the several weeks. Swelling goes down and feel less tighter once tissues stretched. These are common in recovery period. Please follow instructions from your PS and express your concerns

Post op breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question. Unusual sensations are the norm after breast augmentation but always to be on the safe side you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon. As for size then tend to appear bigger when their riding high as at this point they will appear longer and flatter but as the tissue softens they drop into place and the length tends to decrease but the projection increases. But size does not really change any more. I hope this helps.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 334 reviews

5 days post op breast augmentation

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Thank you for the photo's and questions.  Yes, this is all normal, you are only 5 days post surgery.  Dropping means they will settle in their pockets and look more natural.  Right now your implants are high on your chest wall and once they settle into place you will have a rounder more natural look .  Keep in mind most people don't heal symmetrically.  One implant may bruise, swell or drop faster than the other. Just be patient and give it a couple months to settle.

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question and photographs.

I would recommend that you contact your surgeon and have him/her exam the area just to rule out any complications but you are very early on in your recovery and throughout your recovery period you may experience different sensations such as tingling, burning or intermittent shooting pain.  These are normal experiences as the skin, muscles and tissue stretch to accommodate your implants, and as sensory nerves heal. In regards to your breasts dropping, this occurs as your swelling resolves, so no they will not appear larger just more natural and not sit so high up on your chest.
Best of luck in your recovery!
James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

What to expect during long-term recovery

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Thank you for your question.

5 days is very early in the recovery period.

For the 1st few days you will feel fatigue and mostly sore in the upper body and you will feel tightness, swelling, and pain in your breasts as your implants will force the skin to adjust to the size changes. You may also experience slight and temporary tingling sensation in breast and nipple. This will reside, but there can be variation in the time it takes to reside– i.e., few weeks to few months.

After 2-3 weeks, you should be able to begin your light exercise routine, such as brisk walking, cycling, aerobics and lower-body weight training. If your implants are placed behind the pec major muscle, then you will also have to avoid any exertion or strenuous activity that requires use of the upper body (e.g., chest, arms) for at least 6 weeks. This includes but is not limited to running, push-ups, pull-ups, and weight-lifting.

You can expect your breasts to remain swollen for 1 month or longer. This will cause your breasts to feel tight.

From your pictures, it is clear that your implants are riding high as is usual 5 days after surgery. Implants initially sit high up because the chest muscles and surrounding breast tissues have not become accustomed to the implant resulting in tightness. You have to allow gravity to take effect, and overtime, natural tissue expansion will allow the implants to fall into place causing your breasts to appear more natural, softer, and rounder. Once that happens, the implant will sit directly behind the breast tissue in a natural 45:55 breast ratio, and the nipples will move up higher. Currently, there may be excessive upper pole fullness (> 55:45) in both sides, so in time, this will change.

Please note that it is not uncommon for breasts to heal and adapt to implants at different rates. In fact, the process I described above can occur quicker in one breast over another.

You may have to wait 3-6 months for the final results, so there is a lot of time for the “drop and fluff.”

With persistent inward and downward breast massaging, along with pole wraps, the breasts drop.

Patience is key!

With regards to scarring please know that they will take time to fade. Initially, your scars will be red and raised, but over time they’ll fade away. After 3 months following surgery, your scars should look very nice (i.e., scar tissues will relax, soften, and flatten), and will continue to improve for about 12-18 months following surgery and that will be the absolute final result.

Please continue to have regular follow-ups with your surgeon to make sure your breasts are healing beautifully. Their recovery instructions should take precedence over all else you read here as they are better informed about your surgical details.

Hope this helps.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 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.