Sore, Swollen Breast After Breast Implant Replacement and Lift

I had my large breast implants replaced 4 days ago with smaller ones. I also had a breast lift. Today, I lifted too much and probably used my arms more than I should. My right breast is very sore, a bit swollen, and reddish all the around the nipple. I'm on antibiotics, and I will go back to get the stiches out in 3 days. Could it just be aggravated, or do I have an infection?

Doctor Answers 10

Pain, swelling, and rednesss after breast implants

Do not wait. Get away from the computer and call your doctor immediately. This is not something to diagnose over the internet. We are available 24 hours a day to our patients. Your surgeon should see you right away.

Frankfort Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Swollen breast after implant replacement and lift.

Hard to say without photos or exam. Most "surgical" hematomas have one side very tender and are quite larger than the other.  While you might have just "overdone it" and the redness that you describe may be normal, it is best to call your plastic surgeon.  

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

Sore painful breast

Without examining you it would be h ard to tell. It is unlikely that you have done anything to cause a problem. The redness around the areola is a concern but it may also represent normal healing. If it is really tender, it may be an infection and I would speak with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Best to see your surgeon



It may be a normal process of healing but it may also represent something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. You will feel better and hopefully be reassured after you see your plastic surgeon. You are early in your recovery period and should have this checked out.

Dr Edwards

Michael C. Edwards, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Situation sounds urgent.

I hope I am wrong since I have not examined you, but you may have either an infected implant or a hematoma (collection of blood aroud the implant). Either one is serious and you should see your surgeon immediately. If you have an infection, it developed inspite of the antibiotics, so they are not helping.

You should have a sonogram of your breast to see if you have a blood clot or a fluid collection that can be evacuated. Sometimes early aggressive treatment can prevent having to remove the implant.

I hope I am just being an alarmist, but do see your doctor right away.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Call your doctor.

Don't look for advice from strangers when you paid a physician for surgery and follow if. When you are in doubt = call your doctor and go back and see him sooner. What if we give you the wrong advice and you have a hematoma or infection -- SEE YOUR DOCTOR.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

I doubt you have an infection, but you certainly should cut back on your actyivity.


Let your surgeon know what happened. I doubt you have an infection, but lifting 4 days after a complicated procedure like yours is out of the question. Your swelling may mean that the sutures may not be able to be removed at 7 days.

Have your surgeon check your breasts now, reduce your lifting to minimal, and ask when your activity level can increase. Walking is good, lifting is not. Best of luck.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

I would let your surgeon know about it. At about four...

I would let your surgeon know about it.  At about four days is usually when infections are noted, so it is better to be safe than sorry.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Difficult to say without exam, but from what you...

Difficult to say without exam, but from what you describe, infection should be ruled out. I would suggest a call to your surgeon for exam possibly earlier than 3 days.

The hallmarks of infection would be reddness, increase in pain, swelling, drainage, with or without fever. This can only be evaluated with an appointment as outlined. Hope this helps and good luck!

Michael A. Marschall, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Swollen Breast After Surgery

An infection at 4 days is nearly impossible.  The bigger concern is a postop bleed, or hematoma.  If your breast began to enlarge, and continues to enlarge, shortly after using your arms forcefully, this is very concerning for a bleed.  A significant postop bleed would render one breast much larger than the other.  This should be addressed promptly.  Redness around wounds is quite typical shortly after a procedure.  More importantly, does the larger, more swollen breast have more redness near the wound?  Hope this helps.  

Brian M. Braithwaite, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.