How Long Does It Take to See the Final Result in Terms of Size After Breast Augmentation?

i feel my breasts are still swollen and one more than the other. its been a week since my surgery ? thanks

Doctor Answers 9

Final result from breast augmentation

Like any surgery, breast augmentation surgery results in swelling of the involved tissues.  This swelling typically takes a few months to completely subside.  In addition, new breast implants cause your tissues to gently stretch over the surface of the implants, and full relaxation of those tissues takes from 3-6 months.  For this reason, I always tell my breast augmentation patients that their new breast implants will initially look somewhat high and tight, and that over the course of the next weeks to months, they will begin to appear more soft and natural.  You can get a good sense of your final result by 3-6 months.

All the best,

Dr. Skourtis

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast size with settling

Thank you for your question. During the post-operative period the breast are swollen, and the breast implants appear in a much higher position. Over time they descend and fills out the lower half of the breast. It may take several months for this to happen and can be encouraged with breast massage and compression. After the swelling goes down the breasts will appear smaller. However, as the implants settle, it may appear that the breast enlarges as the lower aspect of the breast fills out (at the expense of the upper portion of the breast).

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Recovery and Final Results

Thank you for your question. I have included some typical expectations of breast surgery recovery and signs to watch for following breast augmentation:

  • Stiffness, swelling and bruising in the chest region: These are normal experiences as the skin, muscles and tissue heal. Pain medication and muscle relaxants will help you cope with any discomfort. Consistent sharp pain should be reported to your board-certified surgeon.
  • Hypersensitivity of nipples or lack of sensitivity: This is normal and will gradually resolve over time.
  • A mild to severe itchy feeling of the breasts is possible as healing progresses. An antihistamine like Benadryl can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness. If the skin becomes red and hot to the touch, contact your board-certified surgeon immediately.
  • Asymmetry, the breasts look different, or heal differently: Breasts may look or feel quite different from one another in the days following surgery. This is normal. No two breasts in nature or following surgery are perfectly symmetrical.
  • Discuss returning to work with your board-certified surgeon, in our office it is typically 3-5 days post-surgery but you may not overexert yourself or do any heavy lifting.
  • You may resume exercise and your normal routine at six weeks unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
Final results are typically at the 3-6 month mark. The key is to be patient and follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon with any concerns or questions throughout your recovery.

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Final result of breast augmentation takes time

Thank you for your question. Generally speaking after breast implants placed beneath the breast gland above the muscle it can take 4-6 weeks for final position. If breast implants are placed underneath the muscle final result can take 3 months.

Final results in appearance following breast augmentation

For the first several weeks following a breast augmentation, there is a considerable amount of swelling present. At around one month, a moderate amount of this initial swelling will have resolved. However, it can take around 4 - 6 months to have a far better idea of the final appearance of your breasts and up to a year for maximal resolution of the swelling and completion of contouring.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling after breast augmentation

It takes several months, generally 3-6 months, for the swelling to go down and for the implants to drop into place. It is completely normal for one side to be more swollen than the other at this point. Be patient and understand that healing is a process!

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Final result after breast augmentation

In most cases, after a breast augmentation patients feels as though the implants are big and too high and that the skin is too tight.

It takes several weeks for the skin, breast tissue and muscle to relax and accommodate the volume increase after a breast augmentation.  Also over that period of weeks which may be as long as 12 weeks the excess upper fullness will settle down and the lower part of the breast will become fuller.

The length of time it takes to get to the final shape and size depends on a number of factors including size of the implant, starting size of the breast, whether the patients has had any pregnancies or breast fed and their overall tissue elasticity.

Thank you for your question.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast implant dropping after breast augmentation.

Right after surgery almost 100% of patients are too big, too tight, too high, and to swollen.  This is normal as yours body responds to the implants which have just been placed underneath the pectoral muscle in the average sub muscular breast augmentation.

In my own practice I tell my patients that it will take about three weeks before they will even start to believe me that the implants will drop and settle.  By 12 weeks patients still look somewhat high but it is generally not noticeable to the casual observer.  It really takes about six months for the implants to drop fully and to see your most natural result.

In the early phase is not uncommon to see one implant tighter or fuller than the other.  It is common for the dominant side, for example if your right handed, for the right side or dominant side to stay tighter and higher longer.  It is also common for the dominant side to hurt more.  It will take longer for the thicker muscle to stretch and settle.

One week out you sound perfectly normal.  But when in doubt just checked in with your plastic surgeon because it will often make you feel better.  Your surgeon may also begin a regimen of massage to help the implants not only drop more quickly, but more evenly.

As you read this I hope you'll take some comfort  in knowing that you're at the beginning of a process that really takes about six months. 

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

How long after Breast Augmentation to see results?

Thank you for your question.

At one week post op breast augmentation surgery, you are still swollen and going through the recovery process.  It takes months for all of the swelling to subside as well as for the breast implants to settle into their pocket. 

It is very common for one side to have more swelling than the other and/or for one implant to settle faster than the other.

Be patient!  Best Wishes!

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