How often can I ice after breast augmentation? (Photo)

I had my surgery yesterday and was shocked that I didn't really have any pain just soreness and tightness. When we got home from hospital I was able to get along well. I picked around the house and moved around a lot. moving seemed to almost eliminate all soreness I had. Once I layed down I started getting sore so I roared ice packs pretty much constantly is icing too much bad? I've heard people say 20 minutes on 20 minutes off?

Doctor Answers 6

Ice and BA

I generally don't recommend ice for breast patients as the implant is so far from the skin surface it does little good nor is it helpful after the point of maximum swelling, after the first 3 days.

Discuss this with your surgeon and follow his directions!


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Be Careful Icing

Dear Jen4boobies,

Icing is really only helpful the first two or three days at which point you should hit roughly the peak of your swelling. Elevation and anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen are also helpful for swelling and pain relief and will reduce the amount of narcotic pain medicine you need. Everyone has a different protocol. You should have a buffer of a towel between the cold source and your skin, and you should not be icing more than 50% of the time.

I have actually had a patient give herself frostbite on a section of a tummy tuck flap, so be forewarned not to over do it.

I hope this has been helpful.

Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Robert D. Wilcox, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Icing after breast augmentation

Ice helps a LOT, and I usually recommend 30 minutes on then off. No matter what you do make sure you take some time off, as in theory too much cold can stifle blood flow to the area. If that is you in the photo with the frozen veggies I would also make sure you have some sort of buffer between you and the ice packs such as a hand towel or rag of some sort, as direct contact can lead to frostbite. 

Tracy Kayan, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Icing after breast augmentation

Best to ask your plastic surgeon about his or her post op protocol for pain/soreness. I advise my patients NOT to ice at all because of the possibility of burning the skin if you are numb. Ibuprofen typically works well for muscle soreness. Good luck!

Farah Naz Khan, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

How often can I ice after breast augmentation?

Your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource when it comes to postoperative care questions. Some plastic surgeons have very strong opinions... If you do decide to use either modality of ice or heat, please be sure that you do not place them directly on the skin and potentially “burn” the skin, which may be numb.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Don't do icing!!!

you'll get a soreness or a burn, even necrosis with implant extrusion, don't put ice on that numb skin!

Alejandro Nogueira, MD
Spain Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 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.