What can cause severe pain and lumps in breast one year post-op and the lumps are not sticking to implants?

I am one year post-op breast augmentation and now have excruciating pain in my right breast for a month now ( progressing pain). Yesterday I started feeling knots all through my breast but my implant is still pretty much in tact. It's a little firmer than the left but still soft. I started messaging it vigorously and as long as I was moving it, the pain subsided a bit. The moment I stop, the pain appears worse and seems to spread. I now can't sleep, raise my arm or graze the side of my breast

Doctor Answers 9

1 Year Post Op


You could be experiencing breast tissue changes such as cysts or the beginning of capsular contracture. You will need to be examined in person to determine what the issue is. I recommend that you contact your Plastic Surgeon.

All the best

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

What can cause severe pain and lumps in breast one year post-op and the lumps are not sticking to implants?

Thank you for sharing your question and I am sorry to hear of your breast difficulties. Without an in-person examination it is difficult to offer a diagnosis as it may be due to your implant, capsular contracture for example, or your breast tissue, such as with a fibroadenoma, fibrocystic disease, or hormonally responsive changes.  I would recommend seeing your plastic surgeon and ob/gyn for an in-person evaluation. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Right breast pain

    Dear J,

      Front and side view pictures would have been very helpful. Sorry for your pain. Your situation is very unusual. What did your surgeon say ? 

      From your description, it sounds like you have severe capsule contracture . If you developed Biofilm (bacteria in the capsule and on the implant) you will have to have capsulectomy (scar excision) and implant's replacement in order to reduce the possibility of recurrence.

     Your best option ( financially) is to return to your surgeon, as long as he or she  are experienced board certified plastic surgeon with significant experience in redo breast augmentation.

                         Best of luck,

                                                 Dr Widder

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Severe pain and lumps one year after breast augmentation.

Thank you for asking about your breast augmentation.

  • Without an examinination, no one can tell you what is going on.
  • Please call your surgeon and arrange to be seen.
  • Explain why you are coming in - your surgeon may want to order an ultrasound test before s/he sees you.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast pain

The pain you are describing could be a result of several causes.  It's best to have an examination by your plastic surgeon.  It could be anything from muscle soreness to something more serious.  Any changes in the breasts should always be examined to rule out any serious concerns.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Any unusual activity?

Pain which starts spontaneously a year out is pretty unusual. Most of the time its muscle pain related to overuse. If you had a strenuous weekend or did a lot of chest work in the gym, that could be the cause. If not, it could be fibrocystic breast disease which can cause breast pain, especially around your menstrual period. That type of pain should not persist once your period is over. Obviously, there's nothing like a visit to your doc to both diagnose the problem and reassure you. Good luck.

Robert Frank, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Pain one year after surgery

I am sorry you are having trouble after your surgery.  The condition you are describing could be many things including nerve regrowth which will subside with time versus infection which is serious.  You need to see an evaluation from your plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Mark A. Schusterman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

What can cause severe pain and lumps in my breast 1 year after breast augmentation?

Thank you for your question.  I am sorry to hear that you are having problems with your right breast.  Your symptoms are not normal, and I highly recommend that you call your Plastic Surgeon and go in for an office visit.  Show him or her the areas that are hurting and let them examine you.  If there are indeed any lumps or bumps in your breast, some sort of imaging may be needed, such as an MRI of your breasts to determine if there is an implant rupture.  You may also be forming a capsular contracture, which is when the normal scar tissue around the breast implant becomes hard and shrunken.  This can cause pain and lumps as well.

Main message: call your surgeon and go see them.  A board certified Plastic Surgeon will know exactly where to go from there.  Best of luck!

Breast pain 1 year Out.

I am sorry to hear that you're having discomfort. Pain that starts after a year could be related to the implant, or to just the breast. Check in with your PS. It could represent the beginnings of contracture, or it could be a hormonal change in the breast tissue such as a cyst. Infection is unlikely but possible. Either way, best to be evaluated.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 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.