Bruising-nodule left rib cage w/ pain/numbness down rib shoulder & arm. OK extreme pain, numbness, bruising 8 days post? (photo)

BA performed 03/26. Mntr saline 360cc on right and 380cc on left. Axillary incision. Difficult recovery. Full discl: I did not take it easy. I carried my 24 lb baby and returned to desk job on 03/30. Extreme bruising beneath breast and on sternum- doctor believed confined to the tissue and was due to excessive activity and premature breast massage. Stitches removed 04/03 -began breast massage which was incredibly painful. Worried something’s wrong- should I have this much pain 8 days postop?

Doctor Answers 6

Bruising after breast augmentation

This is why it is so important for patients to listen to the doctor's postop instructions.  You did way too much after surgery and now are facing the aftermath of that.  You need to have your PS examine you again to make sure you do not have a hematoma.

El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Bruising after a breast augmentation

Bruising will vary from patient to patient and certainly may be exacerbated by premature activity.  Pain may be related to bruising, surgery, or even a hematoma. Best to follow closely with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


Hi HewlettC,

Sorry to see that you're in trouble. You probably have a hematoma and your surgeon can diagnose this with an exam or an US. If this is true and you have it drained your pain will subside and you'll still have a great result!

Call them!

Max Gouverne, MD
Corpus Christi Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Intramammary bleeding early after breast augmentation takes time to resolve

The area with the most pain on the left side of the chest wall is where the bleeding that occurred in the breast tissue dissected into the tissue that was not operated, causing a bruise.  It is understandable that his area is very painful.  This should resolve over the next few weeks and should not have an affect on the outcome.  It is not possible to determine from a photograph that the bruising, which appears to be in the breast tissue, is a hematoma around the implant. The fact that there is also bruising on the central upper abdomen is also an indication that the bleeding was in the tissues and not around the implant. The fact that there is no significant fluid volume apparent in the upper pole of the breast is also indicative that there is not blood around the implant. The firmness in the breast from the intramammary bleeding should resolve slowly.  The breast implant massage hurts to a moderately significant degree even in patients that do not have intramammary bleeding.  If the massage is performed with concentration on movement of the implant and less pressure is applied directly on the breast tissue, it should hurt less.  Over the next week, the pain should resolve a little each day. If the implants become incrementally softer and the pain improves a little each day, then that is is good sign.  If the implants move more each day that is a good sign.  This is a process which is going to take some time to resolve.  You cannot undo what was done in the early postoperative period, but you can make a positive impact on the outcome with care and dedication to the postoperative plan. If the breasts do not improve, the plan can be changed to integrate the new information.  Experience with thousands of breast augmentations gives the surgeon an understanding of how to proceed one day at a time, creating a postoperative recovery plan that is individualized to the operation, the patient's anatomy, how they heal, and whatever variables are presented such as overly aggressive early postoperative activity.

Bruising post BA

This is most likely a hematoma.  Please stop massage and contact your surgeon as soon as possible.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Postop Pain and Bruising

People recover from surgery at different rates. Despite the small incisions used in breast augmentation there is a lot of surgery that is done underneath the breast to develop the pocket for the new implant. Swelling and bruising will tend to accumulate at the most dependent position due to gravity which can be aggravated by early activity and massage and caring for children. All of this can translate to different levels of pain in the early weeks after surgery. It is best to keep your PS informed so that he/she can follow the healing process which should improve with time. 

Tom S. Liu, MD, MBA
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.