When Does Swelling After Breast Augmentation Begin to Subside?

I had 325cc silicone breast implants 5 days ago. I am 5'1 and 102 pounds. I was hoping to be a C cup, but I am fitting into a D bra. Is this because of the swelling? If so, when will the swelling begin to go down? When will I know exactly what bra size I will wear?

Doctor Answers 377

Swelling after Breast Augmentation is probably at it's maximum at this point


I thought Californians were chill. You are only five days out from an invasive operation. Surely, you have swelling at this point in time, which, by the way, is probably at its maximum. Expect a significant improvement in the swelling over the next 4-6 weeks. At that time you will have a good idea of your final bra size. Good luck!

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

I usually say a 1/4 cup reduction

It ususally takes 2-3 months for the breast swelling to resolve. It will also undergo a change in shape as the implants become rounder and sag just a bit. I usually tell my patients that they will lose about 1/4 cup size from the early post-operative period.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Don't judge your breast augmentation size for 3 months

At 5 days out from your breast augmentation, there is plenty of soft tissue swelling as well as fluid around the implant. This is normal. When the implants are placed under the muscle, particularly in thin women an oblong bulge is usually noticeable in the upper quadrant. This is the thicker part of the muscle. With time the muscle will accommodate to the implant and flatten down.

This effect often gives the appearance of larger breasts. Your breast shape will also change substantially over the next 6 to 12 weeks and your soft tissue and skin accommodate to the implant. As a general rule, every 200 cc of implant size will equate to one cup size. This can change slightly if a high profile implant is used. Hold off on making any judgment on your final result and breast augmentation size for at least 3 months. Also don’t buy too many bras at this point. Your breast shape will change and the size will most likely decrease.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Initially at 2 weeks, most all by 6-8 weeks

The swelling begins to significantly subside by 2 weeks after surgry as long as you are following proper postop guidelines and not overdoing.  In my practice, most all of the final swelling is gone by 6-8 weeks after surgery.  Probably the "final" result is obtained by 3 months.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Breast augmentation and post op swelling

Yes, you are still swollen.  This swelling may persist for  a couple to a few weeks.  Your implants probably seem "high" to you as well.  This is normal as people usually look great on the table, and when they wake up the implants rise up toward the collar bone.  They will usually start to move downward at about three weeks.  It may take 6 to 12 months for some implants to settle into final position.  Do not run out and buy a bunch of new bras anytime soon. 

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Swelling after Breast Augmentation

Swelling of the breast immediately following breast augmentation is normal and expected after surgery.  For most patients in our Richmond, Virginia practice, the swelling peaks the third through fifth days after surgery.

During the second and third weeks after surgery most of the swelling subsides and the breasts begin to take their shape.  

During this period the implants begin to drop, the tissues expand, and the breasts become rounder.  Please note that a small amount residual swelling may still be present 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.  

We advise our patient to wait approximately 3 to 4 weeks before purchasing new bras to allow the breasts to settle.  Remember not all bras are designed the same and cup size can vary dramatically between manufacturers.  

At this point in your post-operative course it is difficult to distinguish between the contribution post-operative swelling versus the implants are making to your final breast size.  

Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Don't look at your breasts for at least a couple of weeks

Certain things happen dynamically after breast augmentation. Of course, there is swelling and bruising that causes the breasts to be larger. The hemoglobin pigment is hydrophilic so whenever there is bruising, there is some fluid retention. However, the tissue also might be tighter since they are being stretched by the volume of the implant. It takes a while for the tissues to accommodate the implant. This can make the breasts look smaller until the implant effect the size and shape of the tissue maximally.

Because of these two opping forces, I would advise not looking at or examining the breasts too closely for at least a couple of weeks or even longer.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

It takes about 3 months for final size to be seen after breast augmentation


Swelling after breast augmentation takes at least six weeks to resolve, you will be smaller than you are now.

More importantly, the breast implant position shifts as the breast tissues relax after breast augmnetation, and the implant will descend to a much more natural look.

As the breast implant assumes a more normal position, it also fits more naturally in a smaller bra cup than immediately after surgery.

I would reassure you not to worry. It is also very important that you express your concerns to your surgeon

Swelling after breast augmentation surgery

There will be swelling after breast augmentation surgery, but typically it is not significant.   Prior to surgery,  several post -operative appointments will be scheduled. It is important to visit your plastic surgeon regularly, especially in the first few days and weeks following surgery.

Swelling immediately after surgery is probably nothing to be concerned about, but your plastic surgeon can let you know what is normal. Any time you have a concern, contact your plastic surgeon right away. In the unlikely event you do have a problem, addressing the issue sooner than later is the best way to manage any issue

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Breast swelling and buying bras after breast augmentation

Special volume cameras taking photographs of breast augmentation patients demonstrate that the swelling may remain 10-15% larger than the final results for nearly 6-9 months.

You did not state what your initial breast size was and that is difficult to estimate your final breast size.

However, using rough averages, a 325cc implant should take you up about a cup and a half, maybe 2 cup sizes.

At this point in time your breast implants are still high riding and your surgeon may prescribe exercises/massages to move the implants to make the overall breast more soft and supple and less prone to capsular contracture. As the breasts stretch, the implants will descend and create the impression that they are smaller in size. During this period, you should avoid purchasing bras.

I generally have patients use stretch bras or camisoles with built in shlef bras to allow the implants to settle during this time. However, your surgeon may advise otherwise and I would follow their recommendations. By 3 months, the breasts will be closer to their final appearannce and shape, and it is at this point that I encourage patients to go out and purchase their bras and bathing suits.

I hope this helps!

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 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.