my left breast suddenly became very swollen & hard.

I don't remember doing anything out of the ordinary. I have silicon breast implants which I have had for 25 years with no complications. Is this urgent?

Doctor Answers 7

My left breast suddenly became very swollen & hard.

Thank you for sharing your question.  I would recommend seeing a local board certified plastic surgeon in consultation to discuss this acute change in your implant appearance and feel.  You may have suffered a rupture that your surgeon can help diagnose while recommending treatment options once confirmed.  Though not an emergency it is best to have it evaluated sooner than later.  Best wishes. 


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Needs to be addressed immediately

This is something that must be seen.  It is suddenly a change in old implants that most likely needs to be addressed surgically.

Breast Swollen and Hard

It sounds like you have some grade of a capsular contracture. You could possibly have a rupture that is causing it to do this. At 25 years old, you would need to be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon in order to discuss a treatment plan.

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

My left breast suddenly became very swollen & hard.

It is likely that you either have developed capsular contracture from a ruptured implant or have developed a seroma or fluid collection around the implant causing the swelling. Capsular contracture alone usually causes hardness but not a dramatic increase in size. If the size has increased considerably, it is more likely a seroma. These can be caused by an infectious process in which case, drainage and implant removal with implant replacement is the best option. Depending on the degree of infection, some doctors will leave the implant out for 3 months before replacing. 
There is a rare condition called ALCL associated with late seroma formation in patients with silicone implants, especially textured surface implants. This condition may be a low grade form of lymphoma or a lymphomatous reaction. It presents just like the situation you describe. Implant and capsule removal have been curative in all cases to date. 
Based on your situation, I would recommend that you see a board certified plastic surgeon soon to be examined and discuss the options for treatment.

Breast implant firm

your implant may have ruptured and thus causing capsular contracture especially if they are 25 years old. You need to see a board certified Plastic surgeon to evaluate the situation.

Deborah Sillins, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Sudden hardness of breast after augmentation

Sorry to hear about your problem.  In the early post-op period, sudden hardness and enlargement typically means an internal bleed (hematoma). Late-onset symptoms such as yours are less likely to be a hematoma.  You could have a seroma or infection.  There is also a rare possibility that this could be ALCL (Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma) which is a type of cancer.  I'm not trying to scare you, but you should seek a plastic surgeon to evaluate you ASAP.  

Swollen After Breast Augmentation

Great question.  Without more information or pictures it's hard to tell how urgent the situation is, so it's best to consider this urgent.  I would contact a local plastic surgeon for an evaluation (preferably your original surgeon if they are still in practice).

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.