Day 1 post surgery; having a hard time walking and short breaths. Is this normal?

I had my surgery yesterday morning. then it's really hard for me to walk or talk and breathing is really short and heavy. I can't even sit up without it hurting my chest so bad. my pain medications also don't seem to be working. is this normal?

Doctor Answers 7

Difficult recovery

Thank you for your question. Every patient handles post-operative pain differently however I agree that you need contact your operating surgeon's office to inform them of you symptoms and concerns and proceed to the emergency room to err on the side of safety.


Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Is this normal?

This difficulty of breathing combined with not sitting up, and any difficulty in walking is not normal at all. I agree 100% that you need to go to a hospital ASAP to make sure you are safe. 

Jaime Perez, MD
Breast Augmentation Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Emergency Room Immediately, without delay

Individuals handle pain differently.  What concerns me is that you're having difficulty walking.  Do you have pain in your legs?  If there is any concern, I would go directly to the emergency room, do not pass go, do not hesitate.   You didn't mention what type of surgery you had?  Unless I'm missing something, I don't know why my colleagues below are speaking about breast augmentation.  In any event - GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY AND HAVE YOURSELF CHECKED OUT!!!!

Day 1 post surgery; having a hard time walking and short breaths. Is this normal?

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear of your recovery issues.  Because of the severity of your symptoms I would reach out to your doctor's office for assistance.  Breast augmentation surgery can be painful but your medications should permit you to walk and breath without this much difficulty.  I would see your physician sooner than later to ensure no other issues are taking place.  Best wishes.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Feeling tight

In the first days following a breast augmentation it can be very normal to feel tight.  That tightness combined with pain can lead to a sensation of being short of breath or being unable to take a deep breath.  However, there are more serious concerns following any shortness of breath following surgery.  I'd strongly recommend discussing your symptoms with your surgeon.  If there are more serious concerns then immediate medical attention would be recommended.  Use your sound judgement and discuss with your surgeon the pain and other symptoms you're experiencing.  Best wishes!

Levi J. Young, MD
Overland Park Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Day after surgery symptoms

You should be able to walk and talk the day after surgery.  Discomfort is normal, but pain medication should bring some relief.  I would contact your surgeon with your concerns.  Be prepared that he/she may want you to come in for an assessment.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Day 1 post surgery; having a hard time walking and short breaths. Is this normal?

Thank you for your question. It is not normal to have a hard time walking. You should be able to walk. Some patients may complain of pressure to the chest, but are still able to take a nice slow deep breath in. If you are concerned please contact your surgeon to discuss your symptoms. 
Best, 

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 427 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.