How can I tell if I still have swelling after Breast augmentation? (photos)

I am 5 wks post op of a 240cc textured silicone inframammary sub-muscular breast augmentation. One of my breast is visibly bigger at the top of the breast than the other. I am curious if this is swelling or somehing else. If it is swelling, do you suggest applying cold packs do redcue it?

Doctor Answers 10

Swelling after breast augmentation

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It is early in your postoperative recovery and long term results are seen closer to 3 months; changes occur at 6-9 months after surgery and even beyond that. Tissues are still stretching and softening to accommodate the breast implant. Most likely the breast that appears visibly larger at the top of the breast has not descended into the pocket and is also related to some swelling. This is swelling that will resolve with time, ice will not help at this point. Hang in there, things should settle out in a bit of time. 

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

How can I tell if I still have swelling after Breast augmentation?

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At five weeks post op, you may still have some swelling that can take up to 3 months post op to totally resolve.  However, at five weeks post op, scar capsules are beginning to form around the implants.  If one of the scar capsules contracts (shrinks) more than the other, it can make one breast appear larger than the other.  Have your surgeon examine you.  They should be able to tell if this is a problem with capsular contracture and what your options of treatment might be.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.  

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

How can I tell if I still have swelling after Breast augmentation?

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Thank you for your question.

You should address your questions and concerns to surgeon.


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

How can I tell if I still have swelling after Breast augmentation?

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I have to say that you are still early on healing process, it is too soon to determine how your results are going to be, per now, they look very nice and beautiful, you can have one bigger than the other, it is normal and that can happen for the first 3 months until your implants have settle in. I recommend you to wait and keep using your post surgical bra, that will help you with the shape and support. Hugs!

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 442 reviews

How can I tell if I still have swelling after Breast augmentation?

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Thank you for your question and photograph, and it appears that you will have a very nice result. After placement of implants, the overall appearance of the breasts will change dramatically over the next several months, as the implants drop, and the overlying tissue stretches to accommodate the extra volume. In your case the swelling from surgery is flattening your left implant and holding it higher on your chest than your right. This is not uncommon to have one side higher than the other during recovery.   I know waiting is difficult, but judge your results at 4-6 months after surgery as most of your breast changes should have occurred by then. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Post operative asymmetry

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Some asymmetry after surgery is not uncommon and may have been there before. Often times if an implant is placed submuscularly and an implant is lower on one side it may be because the person is right hand or left hand dominant and the implant is being pushed by constant use of that one arm. Check with your board certified plastic surgeon and see what they think of the asymmetry.  Best of luck, MMT

How can I tell if I still have swelling after Breast augmentation?

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If still asymmetric after 5 weeks post op than you have a volume difference issue NOT swelling. Best to see your surgeon in person for follow up examination.

5wks after breast aug with asymmetry

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Thanks for your question. It is hard to tell from your picture if there is truly a size difference or just a position difference. At 5 weeks after surgery there is some swelling and differences in the rate of implant settling. I would recommend you follow up with your plastic surgeon to be sure there are no problems. Best of luck!

Postoperative Recovery

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At five weeks post surgery, the vast majority of your swelling should be resolved but it is not unusual for shape changes to occur for several additional weeks.  By six months, you should be able to determine the final result for the most part.  With sub pectoral / sub glandular implants, the time to reach final shape for your breasts usually takes a bit longer than total sub glandular implants.  You should have an appointment with your surgeon around the six week mark and he or she should be able to assess this in much more detail based on your clinical exam.  Please keep us posted on your progress.  Tom Gallaher, MD FACS

Post surgical swelling

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Hi and congratulations on your recent procedure! Your breasts will continue healing for up to at least the 3 month mark so you are still experiencing a bit of swelling. Should you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to check with your surgeon. Congratulations again!

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.