Pulling, ripping pain under the skin, in rib cage area 5wks post breast lift and implant. Normal? (photo)

I am 5 wks post op breast lift with implants. My left breast has dropped and looks and feels fine. However, my right hasn't moved much. My doctor gave me some little things to do to help it, but as I told him, it feels as though my skin on my rt rib cage is going to rip. Almost like it's attached to something under the skin, preventing my breast from dropping. This also happens when I stretch above my head. Any ideas on what this may be?

Doctor Answers 6

Post-Operative Discomfort

It's not unusual for patients to have a variety of atypical sensations following breast augmentation and breast lift surgery. These sensations are often related to scar formation, swelling, the healing process, inflammation, structural sutures and nerve regeneration. In the vast majority of cases, they resolve with the passage of time.

It's important to discuss these abnormal sensations with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon has specific information about your procedure that might explain their origin. In most cases, gentle massage of the area will facilitate resolution of these symptoms and make the post-operative experience more comfortable.

Breast Lift with Implants

Many of our patients experience this sensation in our practice.  They describe it as a burning, or pulling along the bottom rib.  The muscle is elevated off of the lower ribs during a BA and Lift.  We have always felt this was the cause, and over time it resolves.
However, you right breast has not dropped, and this could be part of the reason you have this sensation.  lt is possible you have actual stitching in this area.  So keep your surgeon in the loop.  Continue with whatever is recommended to help your right implant drop!  All the best, "Dr. Joe"

Pain underskin after breast augmentation and lift

The right breast implant is not dropping as rapidly as the left side.  Your description of a ripping pulling pain and the skin is unusual.  I suggest that you see your plastic surgeon in person for an examination.  The question is whether one of the sutures used during your left could be impacting one of the cutaneous nerves to the chest skin.

Pulling, ripping pain under the skin, in rib cage area 5wks post breast lift and implant. Normal? (photo)

Posted photo does not appear abnormal. But over the internet very hard to advise in these cases. Best to seek IN PERSON second opinions... 

Breast lift with implants

I always say, if the two breasts would heal at the same pace and act the same, it would alleviate allot of worry and concern.  They usually heal at least a little differently and what you describe can completely be attributed to differences in sensation and nerve regeneration.   And unfortunately, the breast can also "drop" at different rates which is also aggravating but completely expected.  

I would recommend mend you try and be patient and continue to follow up with your doctor as often as you need. It really does take a minimum of three months for the swelling to resolve and things to settle. I hope this helps.  Best of luck. 

Melinda Haws, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Nerve irritation after a breast lift / augmentation

More than likely the sensations that you are experiencing are due to stretching of the lateral nerves to the breast.  I may help to be a better fitting bra. Ask your plastic surgeon for more information.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 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.