How Long for Water Retention to Resolve After Breast Lift/augmentation?

I am considering a breast lift/augmentation- 38 y/o, 5'6" and 118 pounds. I have a small frame and 1 or 2 extra pounds on me is enough to cause me not to fit in my pants. How long should I expect for the fluid retention to resolve after surgery? I know to expect a permanent addition of 2 pounds due to implants. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 13

Water retention

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The surgery should not affect water retention, or if,it,does, only for the first few days after surgery.  Just make sure aft surgery that you take ENOUGH fluids as dehydration is a more common problem than fluid retention, especially in the first 24 hours after surgery.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Water retention after breast augmentation

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Keeping in mind that everyone heals at different rates, most water retention from a breast augmentation can last a few days to a week.  Your breasts will continue to change in shape anywhere from 3-6 months.  If you are concerned with appearing heavy, just don't go too large.  Make sure you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon and try on implants to find a size that feels comfortable.  ac

Angela Champion, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

Water Retention and surgery

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Breast augmentation and/or breast lift is a relatively minor surgery that will cause a small amount of swelling, mostly in the breast area.  Given your height and weight, and the nature of your question, I get the feeling you are very concerned about you appearing heavy after surgery. My experience with women with concerns like yourself is that if you do proceed with augmentation that you have small implants, otherwise you will feel too big!

One final thought I'd like to say is that your concern with your body weight is unfounded. Fluctuations of 5 pounds is usually just water weight, which really has no visual impact.  As we mature our concern should be focused on muscle mass and leanness, not weight.  In fact, your weight could theoretically increase as you become more muscular (always a good thing in men and women), leaner, and less 'fat'.  There is a myth that some women think that they can become too muscular.  Show me someone who thinks that, and I'll show you someone that still has too much fat, and not lean muscle!

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Generalized swelling after surgery

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You may have some very temporary fluid retention but I would not expect this to last more than a few days. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

How Long for Water Retention to Resolve After Breast Lift/augmentation?

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     In general, the total body stores of fluid should be back to normal after a few days to a week.  You may have residual swelling of the breasts for months, but this should contribute little to your overall body volume.        Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of breast augmentations and breast lifts each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.                                                                        

Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Water Retention after Breast Augmentation/Lift

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It is difficult to determine how long fluid retention will last after any surgical procedure and can be varied upon individual. I would say anywhere between 2-6 weeks as a conservative estimate. Ask your plastic surgeon about his experience with your specific procedure.

Best Wishes,

Post-op Fluid Retention

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Swelling will usually peak in 48-72 hours.  After that you will begin to get rid of the retained fluid. The rate at which this occurs is variable but, in my experience, this is typically resolved within the next week.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Fluid retention

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it is impossible to predict how much fluid you may retain and how long it will take to resolve.  a simple answer would be to give yourself time to heal.  you will have swelling at your surgical site which can take 4-6 weeks to resolve.  It may even take longer depending on what procedure(s) are being done.  best wishes. dr. basu houston, tx

How Long for Water Retention to Resolve After Breast Lift/augmentation?

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Thank you for the question. It is not possible to predict exactly how long fluid retention will persist, if it occurs at all, after surgical procedures. However, most patients "mobilize" the fluid within 3-5 days after procedures performed.

Best wishes.

Water retention will last about two weeks after breast augmentation.

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After any significant physiologic event the body secretes cortisol which creates fluid retention. The body starts to dispose of the excess water 10 days to two weeks after the operation.

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.