Breast Augmenation Aches at 3 Years Post Op?

I had BA (saline unders) 3 years ago. Lately my left implant has been "achey." It's not necessarily painful but it feels like someone pushing on a bruise. Almost a dull, aching feeling. The feeling isn't constant but my chest aches if I push my implant toward the center of my chest or upward. (I also get that vibration feeling like two balloons rubbing together). I believe it is my muscle over the implant that aches or ribs underneath, but am not sure. Any ideas on what this could be? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 17

Aching Breast Implants

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When implants start to ache in the way you describe, it may indicate some trauma to the area, formation of fluid around the implant (seroma), or a deflation.

If the implants had a textured surface, separation of part of the surface from the capsule may be involved.

The aching is often due to traction or pulling of the implant against the capsule.

While none of these conditions are dangerous, it's a good idea to see your plastic surgeon for proper evaluation.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Breast symptoms years after augmentation

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Here's how to understand your situation years after an augmentation causing no symptoms or problems.

--- An advantage of the saline implant is that it is obviously intact if it looks the same. You don't have to get any tests or see a plastic surgeon to know that. 

-- Implants long healed in place do not cause symptoms in and of themselves. It is misleading to think that the problem is caused by the implant. Everyone including some medical doctors will want to blame it on the implant but that's not likely to be the problem.

-- What can change is the breast tissue above the implant or the tissues around it including the muscle, capsule, lymphatics, or nerves. You could even have fluid in the space around the implant or capsule inflammation (causing capsule contracture) but it could be as simple as pain in the breast tissues that has an unknown or undiagnosable cause and will resolve with time and anti-inflammatories. 

-- If the symptoms are significant or persistent enough you should consult whoever you would see for breast problems first and tell them you have saline-filled implants that you know are intact. Plastic surgeons would tend to know more about capsule contracture but there is no simple or established diagnosis or treatment for this. A breast doctor is more likely to diagnose and treat the problem, plus the treatment and any tests are for your breast health which is more important than the implant and more likely to be covered by medical insurance. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Aching breasts post op breast augmentaton

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Most commomly aching after breast surgery is a combination of nerve irritation and ill fitting bras.  Change style and manufacturer of your bra for increased comfort.  At times, effective relief occurs with a short course of a mild anti- inflammatory.

H. Michael Roark, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

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"Achey Breast" after augmentation

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You can't really go wrong by returning to see your original surgeon and get his or her opinion.  If that's not an option then seeing another board certified plastic surgeon is second best.

What your are describing seems musculoskeletal since it gets worse with movement and pressure.  That could be exacerbated by scar tissue around the implant since that scar tissue is stuck to the underside of the muscle.

Byron D. Poindexter, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon

Breast aches after breast augmentation

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Three years after breast augmentation with a saline implant, breast aches or pains with movement or pressure suggests an injury or strain to the chest muscle. Sometimes it is difficult to recall a cause, though a strain is most likely. The rub or vibration feeling may indicate fluid within  the capsule around the implant. Rest the area with a snug bra, anti-inflammatory medication may help, and if problems persist see your surgeon to check things out.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Discomfort 3 years after breast augmentation

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In cases of this sort your surgeon would be the best place to start in trying to adress this problem.

Sometimes  discomfort may be related to monthly swelling and can be treated as one would treat PMS. It may be due to prosthetic positional change or rotation if it is a contoured implant. Pressure or irritation of a sensory nerve may also be a cause.

In any case it should be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon and an mri  taken.

Barry H. Dolich, MD (Retired)
Bronx Plastic Surgeon

Discuss symptoms with your surgeon.

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Discomfort 3 years after breast augmentation isn't typical.  You should see your surgeon and discuss what has been happening. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Pain years after breast augmentation

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The most likely cause of your pain is capsular contracture. The only way to know for sure is for you to see a plastic surgeon and undergo a face to face examination. The usual treatment for this is removal of the implant and its surrounding capsule and placement of a new implant so that your body will make a new capsule. Hopefully one that does not cause pain.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Pain late after Breast Augmentation

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Your symptoms are non-specific enough that many things can cause them. You need to see your original surgeon or a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Most likely the symptoms will resolve, but there are several things that you can modify with early treatment.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmenation Aches at 3 Years Post Op?

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I have seen this, most times it is self limiting but please obtain an examination ASAP for peace of mind. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

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.