Incision Swelling a Week After Exchange, is That Normal?

I had a tissue expander cuz of breast cancer and exchanged a week ago today for 550cc gel implant. Wore a compression vest till yesterday and had no swelling. Now inframammary incision is swollen. Is that normal?

Doctor Answers 4

Incision swelling

Some swelling, even some that comes and goes is normal.  Also, there is both swelling and newly forming scar tissue that can cause a "ridge" to be felt beneath the incision from shortly after surgery even for a few months.  Certainly increasing tenderness and/or redness is not normal and can signal an infection. Your surgeon should assess whether everything is healing normally sooner rather than later.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Incision swelling

Incision swelling can be routine. But make sure that your surgeon sees it asap to offset other possibilities. The things that come to mind are, infection, irritation, reaction to the suturing. But nothing beats having him(BS PS) see it. 

Paul Albear, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Swelling during breast reconstruction

Swelling occurs in just about every surgical procedure and may be due to swelling within the tissues or fluid underneath.  Your compression vest may have kept the swelling hidden and now you are noticing it.  It may also be a fluid collection.  As long as there is no sign of infection, I would not be alarmed.  I'm sure your surgeon will be able to explain what that is.

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Swelling After Exchange of Breast Expanders

Swelling of the incision after recent surgery may be totally normal even a few days after the procedure.  However, this can also represent a problem.  Without seeing you or any pictures of the area, it is difficult to say for sure.  You want to make certain that your swelling is not associated with redness, pain, drainage, or symptoms like fevers, chills, or body aches.  If you aren't experiencing any of these, chances are that everything is alright. 

To be sure, I would make an appointment with your PS as soon as possible to make sure. Sometimes, infections can be well treated with antibiotics if started early enough. Good luck- Erez Sternberg, MD.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 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.