Is Breast Augmentation Less Painful for Women Post Pregnancy?

I read that women who have had babies would have stretched their skin enough to lose volume, which may be helpful to create a breast pocket during Breast Augmentation. So is it less painful to get a Breast Implant compared to women with no previous pregnancies having tighter skin and small breasts with no volume loss. Is this true?

Doctor Answers 9

Breast Augmentation as well as other operations are LESS painful in Women who had Children

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Pain perception is multi-factorial and is related to race, ethnicity, gender, age, and many other factors. It has been my experience that women who had children do tolerate pain much better with ALL procedures than younger women who did not.

While there is more pain in lifting the pectoralis major muscle to place an implant under it - this pain is markedly minimized by using gentle, accurate surgical technique. The results afforded by placing implants partially under the muscle are much better, in most women, than placing implants over the muscle.

Dr. P. Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Pregnancy and lactation or nursing may effect post op pain following breast enlargement or augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I find that many patients who have been pregnant and nursed report that the pain of breast enlargement is quite similar to the discomfort experienced with engorgement. That having been said, the pain may depend more on "over' or "under" placement. If implants are placed OVER the muscle in an individual with a lax skin envelope, they may experience less discomfort when compared to an similar individual who has NOT been pregnant and nursed. However, if the implants are placed UNDER the muscle, the history of pregancy may be less relevant.

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

Is Breast Augmentation less painful after pregnancy?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi there-

Because pregnancy does not affect the muscle tissue, and because the majority of the pain comes from lifting the muscle to place the implant under it, the pain should not be any different after pregnancy than before... I would add, however, that women who have had a baby are tougher than most other people, and my patients who have breast augmentation after babies do seem to tolerate the pain better than my pre-baby patients.

Most of my patients say it feels like pressure- as though you had a heavy book sitting on your chest, and pain medication is needed for 2-3 days only.

Pain of breast augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The muscles don't stretch with pregnancy but the skin does.  Also, pregnancy and delivery may heighten your overall pain threshold making an augmentation a bit easier.  Either way, about 80% of my patients tel me it was less painful than they thought it was going to be! 

Breast Augmentation

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most of the discomfort with breast augmentation or breast implants comes from lifting the muscle to make the pocket. So, the amount of loose skin does not really affect the recovery. If there is too much loose skin, then you may need a mastopexy or breast lift as well as an implant. Some people put the implant just under the skin as a submammary implant and not under the muscle. However, in most people a submuscular (under the muscle) is the best and safest option. These are all great issues to discuss with your surgeon. Good luck.

No data showing less pain with breast augmentation after pregnancy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It makes intuitive sense that having the skin stretched out would be helpful, but that isn't typically the main source of discomfort after breast augmentation. Most of the time it is the muscle, and by far most implants are done under the muscle. However, there are a number of things that can be done to minimize discomfort and it shouldn't last more than a matter of days.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast augmentation after pregnancy not less painful

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for your question.

While there may be a small benefit in being able to recruit the stretched skin caused by pregnancy and breast feeding most of the pain from breast augmentation typically comes from the subpectoral placement of the implant.

In our San Francisco area practice, typically it is the implant placement behind the muscle and the stretch caused afterwards that contributes to post-operative pain. We have several techniques to manage this pain including injection of local anesthesia into the pocket during operation, post-op pain pumps and carefully tailored muscle relaxants to prevent pain.

The vast majority of our patients don't find this a significantly painful operation with these techniques and usually are feeling well post-op day 3 or 5.

I hope this helps.

Breast Augmentation Less painful post pregnancy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for the question.  The perception of pain varies differently between patients.  Some can take it more than others.  It really depends on the person's tolerance so it would not make much of a difference whether to have breast augmentation pre or post pregnancy.  Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Breast augmentation may be less painful after pregnancy has stretched the breast

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question. I believe your correct and your assumption that breast augmentation can be less painful after pregnancy then in a younger woman who has had no pregnancy and has small breasts with tight skin.

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.