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 396

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

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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!

I usually say a 1/4 cup reduction

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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 34 reviews

Don't judge your breast augmentation size for 3 months

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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 20 reviews

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

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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.

Breast augmentation and post op swelling

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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

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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.  

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

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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

Swelling after breast augmentation surgery

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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 123 reviews

Normal swelling after breast augmentation

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You are certainly swollen at five days after surgery, you may be experiencing much tightness, swelling, and your implants may seem like they are too high especially if submuscular. This is all normal. Your breast shape and size will change over the next several weeks as the swelling reduces and the tissue surrounding the implants relaxes, causing the implants to assume a more natural position. The extent of the swelling depends on a couple factors:
  1. Implant placement.
    (A) If on top of the muscle (subfascial and subglandular), wait 1-2 weeks for reduced swelling to become evident.
    (B) If under the muscle (subpectoral or submuscular), wait 3-4 weeks for reduced swelling and distortion to be noticeable (especially if you have well developed pectoral muscles.)
  2. Soft tissue swelling. Breast implant position shifts as the breast tissues relax after breast augmentation. Breast implants will assume a more natural position in theĀ  weeks ahead.
TheĀ  results of your breast augmentation will be better judged at 3 months and by a year the final shape will be present.

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

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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

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.