Swelling or misplaced implant?

Hi, I had my implants done one week ago on the 30th September I was just wondering if what I was experiencing was really bad swelling or is my implants too much in my side. I look really wide, if it is swelling what can I do to make it go down?

Doctor Answers 12

Drop & Fluff


Thank you for your question. You have large implants and you are only one week post op so the implant volume is displaced up and outward right now due to pressure. As your swelling gradually resolves and tissue in the lower breasts softens and expands, you will see the implants gradually drop and settle into a different shape. This process can take between 2-6 months. You cannot rush it. Talk with your Plastic Surgeon about any concerns.

All the best

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews


Thank you for your question.  As other surgeons have stated below, you are very early in the recovery process.   Swelling is normal at this phase and can take several weeks to settle down.   Follow up with your surgeon and be sure to express all your concerns to him/her.  Also be sure to follow all post op instructions in order to heal properly.  Best of luck in your recovery process. 

Shahin Fazilat, MD, FACS
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Are my implants too wide?

Generally speaking, especially early in the post-operative phase of healing, it is not uncommon to have one or both implants appear to be high up by the clavicle. Although the “pocket” may be made correctly, the implant may not have access to the bottom for several reasons. If the overlying muscle or skin is tight, this will move the implant to the path of least resistance which is up and towards the underarm where there is little or no pressure. As the pressure relaxes, the implant will drop down to the bottom. Smooth implants, because their surface is slippery, may move faster downward than a textured implant with its rough surface. Because these variables mentioned above can be different for each side, it's not uncommon that one side will drop faster to the bottom of the pocket than the other. Similarly, sometimes one breast will swell more than the other or be more painful than the other early in the postoperative phase. After the first month or two, usually things will even out. It wouldn't be, in my practice, until four months or so has passed that I would entertain going back to the operating room to “touch up” the location of the breast implant in the pocket. Sometimes specialized bras or straps as well as massage and stretching protocols may be helpful in allowing this process to happen more quickly. Each plastic surgeon will have different thoughts on what the best protocol is for the patient. Your operating plastic surgeon will be your best resource to have this information passed on to you. I recommend that you faithfully follow up and follow the instructions of your chosen plastic surgeon. Congratulations on your surgery, and good luck on an uneventful recovery.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Augmentation on September 30

Thank you for your question and photographs.  Increased pain or swelling should be evaluated by your plastic surgeon. Some post operative swelling is to be expected.  I wish you good luck.

Breast Augmentation - Post Op Swelling?

Thank you for your question and photos. You are still early in the post-operative period. It typically takes 3 - 6 months for the swelling to subside and and implants to settle into proper position. Please discuss your concerns with your board certified plastic surgeon. Also, make sure you follow all of your plastic surgeons post-operative instructions regarding level of physical activity and use of a support bra. Hope this helps and good luck with your recovery.

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Breast Augmentation Swelling

It takes about 3 months for all swelling to go away so it is very early to decide. At first implants are very high and don't look natural. 

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

1 week after breast augmentation. Is this swelling or misplaced implants?

Thank you for your question.  At one week postop, it is way too early to say your implants are malpositioned.  In fact, it is very likely that they are not.  The first week after a breast augmentation sees the most swelling.  Just about every patient's breasts do not look perfect during the first 4-6 weeks after a breast augmentation.  We need to allow time for the swelling to resolve and for the implants to "drop".  Right now your chest muscles are sort of "confused" as to why there are implants sitting underneath them, so their response is to spasm and tighten up.  They will get used to the implants, and so will all the other internal breast tissue over the coming weeks.  All this will relax, and your breasts will look very different in a month.

Be sure to regularly follow up with your Plastic Surgeon.  He/she can guide you through starting some massage and downward displacement exercises, and they may even recommend a band be placed across the top of your chest that pushes the implants down.  Congratulations on your new look.  Best wishes!

Swelling one week postop

Thank you for your question and photos.  You are very early in your recovery and from what I can see on the photographs, your recovery looks normal.  It is not unusual to have swelling throughout the breasts and mohave the implants ride a little high.  You will notice gradual improvement with regard to the swelling and implant position over the next 3-6 months.  Of course, it is always best to check with your surgeon with specific questions about the recovery protocol.  You can try some ice packs as well as sleeping on 2-3 pillows.  

Best Wishes


Matthew H. Steele, MD
Sioux City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Implants riding high - wait 3-6 months

Thank you for your questions and photos!

It is clear from the pictures that the implants are riding high.

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 swelling to reduce and for 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 as well. Currently, there may be excessive upper pole fullness (> 55:45) in both sides along with implants appearing more on the outer side (i.e., near the armpit), so in time, this will change.

Please note that it is not uncommon for breasts to heal and adapt to implants at different rates.

You may have to wait 3-6 months for the final results. Since you are only 1 week into recovery, 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.

If the breasts appear too high and you are unhappy with cleavage gap even after 3-6 months, then at that point in time you may share your concerns with your surgeon and they should be able to fix the problem by releasing attachments near the inframammary fold and near the sternum to allow the implant to drop downward and inward.

Patience is key!

Part of the problem could also be that you got implants that exceeds your breast boundaries, and if that is the case, then you will have to get smaller implants to fix the situation as well.

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 469 reviews

Breast augmentation

Thank you for your question and photographs.

I would recommend consulting with your surgeon so they can perform a physical examination. You are still early in your recovery period and while there is swelling present, the breasts may appear uneven or out of place. Over the next 6-8 weeks the swelling should begin to resolve and the breasts will start to drop into their pockets and appear more natural and symmetrical. Everyone heals at different rates and one side may heal quicker than the other. I would wait until you are at least 6 months post op to make a final judgement about your breasts. 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 75 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.