Left Breast Appears More Swollen After Breast Reduction

My drains and bandages were just removed and now it looks like my left breast is much bigger than the right. Could it just be more swollen? Is this something to worry about? And how long should it take for the swelling to leave? Does it mean I'm not resting enough?

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Asymmetry after Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.

If you notice significant asymmetry between the two breasts  after breast reduction surgery,  you may need to call your surgeon for a relatively urgent evaluation  to rule out a fluid accumulation ( hematoma or seroma).

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Early post-op from breast reduction

If you jsut had your drains removed you are very early post-op and there may be differential swelling between the breasts. Give it some time.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swelling of breast after reduction

I am a little confused. Who removed your dressings and drains and did you discuss this with them? It could be normal swelling or it could be a hematoma but that question should have been answered at that time. I asm assuming it is normal swelling because your care taker did not comment or recommend treatment.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Prominent differences in swelling soon after surgery could mean a problem...

Hi there-

It would be important for you to call your surgeon's office right away under these circumstances, because this could mean you have a hematoma (a collection of bloody fluid) on the larger side.

Once this is ruled out as a cause of the difference in size, then a discussion with your surgeon would be appropriate to determine the cause and its management.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Don't Worry

Unequal swelling after surgery is not uncommon.  If the swelling is not due to a hematoma (collection of blood) then the swelling will resolve naturally.  The time frame varies from patient to patient.  Make sure you follow your surgeon's directions.

Dr. ES

Significant Breast Size Difference after a Breast Reduction

Without photographs to rely on all we can do is generalize. Although Breast symmetry rarely exists before and after breast operations, a good Plastic surgeons always tries to minimize the asymmetry as much as possible. I seriously doubt that your surgeons left the OR with a huge asymmetry between your breasts. As such, the question is do you have a bleed into your left breast which would make it larger? A drain will NOT stop a bleed.

Go see you surgeon immediately as this MAY need to be re operated on and be evacuated. If there is no bleeding, he will be glad to explain the asymmetry to you.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Hematoma is a rare complication after breast reduction.


1)  I think you should see your plastic surgeon right away.  If your left breast is much larger after breast reduction, you could have a hematoma (collection of blood) which needs to be surgically removed promptly.

2)  We have seen this a couple of times doing breast reduction in New York City.  We get a sonogram of the breast to make sure there is no hematoma.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Swelling after Breast Reduction

It is way to soon after your surgery to worry about size differences.  If you are just having your bandages removed then you are very fresh post op.  Save yourself the headache and put it out of your mind for awhile.  Tell yourself that you are not going to make comparisons or get worried for at least 3 months.  By that time all the swelling should be resolved and the tissues settled.  Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Breast swelling after a reduction

Just go back to your doctor for this and ask them if it is normal.  It could be just swelling or you might have a fluid collection (seroma) that wouldneed to be drained.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Post-operative assessment following breast reduction

I usually tell patients not to look at their breasts critically until 4-6 weeks or even more. Things are changing too much to make accurate assessments. You'll just drive yourself nuts. You and your surgeon should simply observe whether you are healing normal and wait until everything is more or less stable to assess the aesthetic results.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.