One breast more swelled and achy is this normal? (Photo)

My one breast is extremely more swollen then the other. I am 16 days post op and just a little concerned. I don't see any bruising so I'm guessing it's not a hematoma but it's still concerning. I keep getting a dull pain every once in awhile right through it to the nipple. Is this normal it's so swollen it feels like it's going to pop.

Doctor Answers 11

Post-operative care

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Although recovery can vary after breast augmentation, especially depending on your surgeon's technique, a unilateral (one sided) swollen and tender breast 2 weeks after a breast augmentation is something I'm sure your surgeon would want to see. It is very important that you contact your surgeon, and schedule a visit if you have one sided pain, swelling, or redness. I would suspect that your surgeon would prefer that you return to see him or her, rather than survey RealSelf for the management of a possible post-operative complication.

Sea Girt Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

One Breast More Swollen

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1.    pain is variable

2.    it takes 2-3 months for implants to settle and muscles to relax

3.    celebrex, motrin, and muscle relaxers can help

4.    massage and stretching may help

5.    everyone heals differently

6.    4-7 days off from work is common

Given the fact that it is only 16 days into your healing process there is more time to be allowed for complete settling of your implants. It is also important to know that swelling can last for several months off and on. However, if you are concerned or worried at all you should visit your surgeon to have the area examined to make sure that healing is progressing well. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

One breast more swelled and achy is this normal?

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You are going to see the difference just after the procedure. However it is necessary to wait for some time in order to see the final result. After the breast augmentation operation the recovery period depends on your physical status, age, general health and condition mainly. The operation itself does not take too long therefore you receive a mild anesthesia. Since the anesthesia that you receive is mild; you will not have problems associated with anesthetic agents after the operation. This is especially important and can be achieved with only a team of plastic surgeons like we have. After the operation you will be advised to wear a corset in order to reduce the edema. You can start to do your daily activities just after the operations but we do not advise you heavy lifting, running or activities that require excess physical activity. The more you rest, the faster your recovery will be.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Not uncommon

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It is fairly normal to have one side with more pain, discomfort, and swelling in the first few weeks after a breast augmentation.  It is even fairly common to have one breast that looks a little bit different than the other.   Usually, these issues will resolve themselves with time.  If these pain and discomfort is becoming less frequent, you are likely on the right course.  If the pain is staying the same or getting worse, I would be more inclined to investigate the source.   I would not be overly concerned, but would check with your PS. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

Daniel Sherick, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

One breast more swelled and achy is this normal?

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It is best to see your surgeon to determine what is going on. You didn't say whether you have been swollen since surgery or whether this is a change in the last day or two. Bleeding into the pocket can occur weeks after surgery and may not initially produce bruising. Alternatively, you could have a seroma forming. Again, your surgeon is in the best position to evaluate your breast.

One breast more swollen and achy.

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Thank you for the question and the picture.   It is certainly not unusual to have different sensations from one breast to the other.  You are still very early post op be sure and discuss any concerns with your PS.     Good luck

Ivor B. Kaplan, MD
Norfolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast Implants/Breast Augmentation/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision Surgery

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I appreciate your question.

Since there has been a change in your post op course, please contact your surgeon so he/she can examine you and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question and photograph.

I would recommend consulting with your surgeon so they can perform a physical examination. You are still early in your recovery period and while there is swelling present, the breasts may appear uneven. Over the first 6-8 weeks the swelling should begin to resolve and the breasts will start to drop into their pockets and appear more natural and symmetrical. Everyone heals at different rates and one side may heal quicker than the other. I would wait until you are at least 6 months post op to make a final judgement on the symmetry of your breasts. Best of luck in your recovery.

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews


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It is not uncommon for one breast to feel a bit different than the other, but it is worth being seen in person to be sure when your symptoms have changed.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

One breast more swelled and achy is this normal?

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Thank you for your question and photo.  I do see the asymmetry that you mentioned.  Please see your plastic surgeon for an examination and diagnosis.  Possibilities include seroma a fluid collection.  Hematoma or bleeding is another possibility but I would expect the breast to feel incredibly tight and painful.  Finally I'm concerned that the right breast implant appears to be significantly lower than the left side.  If on exam the that side is lower your surgeon may want to tape the crease under the breast and have you wear an underwire bra to prevent bottoming out.

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.