Why Would I Start Feeling Pain Around One Implant 2 Years Post-Op?

I had breast augmentation performed two years ago. I started expieriencing pain/tightness around the same time I started swimming more.But, I only have pain/tightness in one breast. I can seen my plastic surgeon and regular doctor and they don't know why I am feeling this way. Is it because I am swimming more now?

Doctor Answers 6

Pain two years after breast implants

There are two possiblities to explain pain that develops months or years after breast imlants:

  • Pain can be due to muscle spasms or cramping with increased activity or irritation.  This will occure during or after increased activity of the muscle including exercision.
  • Pain and tightness can also signify the development of a capsular contracture.  This is more likely to be a more constant pain, independent of physical activity.

Both are more likely to happen on only one side and not both.

Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

One sided pain...

To fully answer your question I'd need to know the specifics of your surgery.  If your implants are under your muscle then it's normal to have occasions of muscle pain, twanks, or other discomfort.  This is typically on one side.  The best way to prove that your pain is muscle related put your hand on your hip on the side that's hurting you and push against your hip.  Feel the muscle tht's tightening from your armpit on that side down toward your breast.  If you grab that muscle down toward your breast and squeeze it you will recognize that same pain.  If this isn't the case then your issue may be one of several other that are a bit unusual at this point, but possible.  The other that can cause one sided pain is capsule contracture...a hardening/tightening of the normal scar tissue that surrounds your implant.  This will make the implant on that side feel a bit firmer than the other.

In general, these are questions that your plastic surgeon should be able to answer.  If your plastic surgeon is unsure then a second opinion never hurts!  Good luck!  Scott Newman, MD FACS

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Pain 2 years after breast augmentation

You may have muscular pain from your increased physical activity or you may be developing a capsular contracture.  You should be evaluated by your surgeon to determine the problem.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Pain years after Breast Augmentation Surgery

It's difficult to say without an examination but I also think that it's either overactivity or possibly the start of capsular contracture.  If you rest (do not swim) for a week or two and see that this pain has gone away, that is a good way to know that it was due to the swimming.  Capsular contracture often happens in one breast - it may feel more firm than the other. I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,482 reviews

Pain 2 years after breast augmentation

Capsular contracture is the 1st thing you must consider. Usually the breast with contracture will feel firmer and may be slightly higher. Muscle Injury and costochondritis, pain from the ribs could be other things to consider.

If this Is an early contracture and may respond to physical therapy Including ultrasound massage and banding.

Trying to figure out relieving and/or aggravating factors may help you figure out the cause of your problem.

Wendell Perry, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

Pain two years after breast augmentation


The onset of pain in one breast two years after breast augmentation is usually either activity related or a symptom of capsule contracture.  If your breasts feel soft and look the same as they have throughout the post-operative period and you have been more active lately with swimming it may just be muscle pain from the activity.  You can diagnose this by giving your upper body some rest.  If the pain goes away you can be confident that it is activity related and not likely a sign of capsule contracture.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 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.