Mondors Cords After Breast Implants. How Long Do They Last, and What Can I Do?

I had breast implants on April 15th 2012. Two weeks after surgery I developed mondors cords. I have had the since and they are quite painfully. My breasts are no longer painful but the cords mak wearing any kind of bra uncomfortable. I have tried heat packs and also taken ibrubrofen but nothing seems to help. I was advised by my surgeon to always wear a bra but always feel uncomftsble. How long do they last and is there anything else I can do?

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Cords

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Mondor's Cords are caused by inflammation and subsequent clotting of the veins of the chest. These cords are most often found associated with an incision - although they can develop anywhere in the field of surgery. Treatment is conservative with warm compresses, massage, and NSAIDS such as Advil. For most patients they last a few months. Continued close follow-up with your surgeon is essential.

Mondor's Disease After Breast Augmentation

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Mondor cords or Mondor's disease is a subject that I wrote a dissertation about when I was in my plastic surgery residency at Stanford.  Technically, Mondor's disease is a clotted vein or veins that come up the chest wall just below the breast.  They normally last 3 months and ibuprofen is what I have always recommended.  I have always recommended the patients wear no bra as the bra irritates an already irritated vein.  I am sorry you are going through this and you are probably doing exactly what needs to be done.  Unfortunately, more time is your only answer. 

Mondors Cords After Breast Implants. How Long Do They Last, and What Can I Do?

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Thank you for the question.  Your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource when it comes to making accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations.   The use of anti-inflammatories and warm compresses may be helpful to expedite resolution (check with your plastic surgeon).  Resolution of this inflammatory process may take several weeks/months.
Best wishes.

It is not uncommon

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It appears to be a Mondors cord. Sometimes after having incisions near or around the breast this can occur. They are temporary and harmless, but often somewhat painful. There is no specific treatment however; some suggest the use of a warm compress, and gently massaging the area. In most cases it resolves within 3 months. Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource in diagnosing and treating recommendations.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

Mondor's syndrome after breast implants

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Mondor's syndrome (or cords) are benign inflammation of the veins and lymphatics below the breasts - these are the veins that drain blood down from the breast towards the abdomen. It is usually self-limiting (although can be quite uncomfortable, as you describe).

Unfortunately time can't be hurried, and what you are doing, in terms of ibuprofen and massage are the only treatments that may help. 

How long will they last? It is very individual, but usually no more than 2-months after surgery


Mondor's bands

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Mondor's bands are swollen lymphatics and always resolve spontaneously without treatment other than time, massage, and Motrin.  Each person is individual in the timing though.

Mondor's cords

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Mondor's cords are superficial thrombophlebitis that usually are self-limiting and respond to warm soaks and anti-inflammatory agents.

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