When will the chest tightness go away? (photo)

I'm 2 weeks post op and i feel my chest a bit tight! My right breast is fine, no pain and getting a good shape! But the left breast feels a bit tight and is a bit higher than the right one! When will tightness go? I dont feel the tightness on the whole breast but only on a part of it.

Doctor Answers 8

When will the chest tightness go away? (photo)

Thank you for your question and photo. Great question! In time, your chest tightness will fade. The final #appearance, #shape, and #movement are not exactly the same as normal breasts. The surgically enlarged breasts do not move in the same way as normal breasts. They tend to be #firmer. The contours are usually somewhat different than normal breasts. In some patients these discrepancies may be rather noticeable. Although every effort is made to place the #implants #symmetrically, complete symmetry is rarely achieved. Immediately after surgery, the breasts are swollen and firmer. The final shape and size is approximated after 2 to 3 months, but up to one year may be required for the end result. Sometimes one breast heals more quickly than the other. It just takes time for things to improve. I do recommend that you make sure your #BCPS is aware of your recovery concerns as he is the best one to provide care for you. Best wishes!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Tightness after breast augmentation

Congratulations on your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

It seems that your breast on the right (left on the photo) is higher. Possible feeling more tight. Time will make the breast settle, and the tightness will go away.

Finally, make sure that your doctor is aware of your process. He should be able to guide you best in your care.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Chest tight

Hello, usually by about 6 weeks most of my patients feel well and are back to regular activities.  However, breasts will often soften for months after surgery.

William Andrade, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews


Hello, your tightness will improve with time. It can take several months before things soften as much as you like. Good Luck.

Paul W. Papillion, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews


It is expected that you will have tightness for several weeks but it should resolve nicely. Our patients are instructed to wear an upper compression pole and flexeril for reducing muscle spasm. 

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Post Op Swelling / Tightness?

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your recent surgery. . You are very early in the post-operative period and swelling is to be expected. It typically takes 3 - 6 months for the swelling to subside and the implants to settle into proper position. Swelling usually accounts for 10 - 15% of the initial post-operative appearance. The implants may swell asymmetrically, but usually settle evenly. Please discuss your concerns with your board certified plastic surgeon. Also, make sure you follow all of your plastic surgeons post-operative instructions regarding level of physical activity and use of a support bra. Hope this helps and good luck with your recovery.

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tightness after breast augmentation

Thank you for your question and congrats on your surgery!  The hardest part of the recovery is over.  Now it's just waiting for your tissues to stretch a little and heal.  It is pretty common to have different rates of healing or different sensations on your right vs. left side after a breast augmentation.  So I'd expect the tightness in your left breast to slowly resolve over the next few weeks and the implant itself should also settle down a bit to match your right side better.

Give it a little bit more time and I think you're going to be thrilled with the results.  

Congrats again,
Dr. Seth

Seth Eberlin, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Tightness in breast?

Generally speaking, especially early in the post-operative phase of healing, it is not uncommon to have one or both implants appear to be high up by the clavicle. Although the “pocket” may be made correctly, the implant may not have access to the bottom for several reasons. If the overlying muscle or skin is tight, this will move the implant to the path of least resistance which is up and towards the underarm where there is little or no pressure. As the pressure relaxes, the implant will drop down to the bottom. Smooth implants, because their surface is slippery, may move faster downward than a textured implant with its rough surface. Because these variables mentioned above can be different for each side, it's not uncommon that one side will drop faster to the bottom of the pocket than the other. Similarly, sometimes one breast will swell more than the other or be more painful than the other early in the postoperative phase. After the first month or two, usually things will even out. It wouldn't be, in my practice, until four months or so has passed that I would entertain going back to the operating room to “touch up” the location of the breast implant in the pocket. Sometimes specialized bras or straps as well as massage and stretching protocols may be helpful in allowing this process to happen more quickly. Each plastic surgeon will have different thoughts on what the best protocol is for the patient. Your operating plastic surgeon will be your best resource to have this information passed on to you. I recommend that you faithfully follow up and follow the instructions of your chosen plastic surgeon. Congratulations on your surgery, and good luck on an uneventful recovery.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 55 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.