More Pain and Swelling on One Side? (photo)

I'm day 4 post-op and have had more pain on the left outer edge from the beginning but this morning woke up with sharp pains from the outer edge to the nipple on the same side. Its about two hours before another pain pill is due and ice and gentle rubbing help a little. The swelling is a little more than the right side but not major. Is this cause for alarm? Also no bruising or redness where the pain is...see pic posted.

Doctor Answers 15

Recovery and Swelling

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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.
Remember, every patient recovers differently and each breast heals at its own rate. What you have described is no cause for alarm, but I suggest following up with your board-certified plastic surgeon. Good luck.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Breast Enhancement Surgery

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Two breasts, two different operations and as much as anyone says breast augmentation does not hurt I disagree it deffnately hurts, all sounds normal though

Post breast aug pain and swelling.

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It is not atypical for different pain symptoms on each side after breast augmentation. Also one side being slightly more swollen is not atypical either. Significant size mismatch, increased swelling, acute pain, or increasing pain are concerning findings that need to be evaluated by your surgeon for possible hematoma. If there is any concern it never hurts to check in with your surgeon. Your safety is the most important thing. 
Best of luck,
Gaurav Bharti

Gaurav Bharti, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Breast Size and Pain Differences

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   Any concerns for increases in size and pain of one breast following breast augmentation should be evaluated for hematoma if there is a concern.

Asymmetric Pain after Breast Augmentation?

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Congratulations on having undergone the breast augmentation procedure.

 Some asymmetric discomfort/pain is more commonly seen, than not after breast augmentation surgery.  Of course, your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource to rule out complications that may explain the asymmetric symptoms you are feeling.

 Best wishes;  hopefully, you will be very pleased with the long-term outcome of the procedure.

More pain

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Hello and thank you for your question,

It is quite common to have a different amount of pain from side to side, and this alone is not a cause for concern.  It is also common to have a different amount of swelling from side to side.  What is uncommon is to have a sudden increase in the size of one breast.  This could be a sign of a hematoma or blood collection in the breast.  While there is a possibility you may have a small blood collection on the larger side, this may be unimportant. However, only your plastic surgeon can distinguish this with a physical exam.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Early postop pain.

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Thanks for sharing. Most patients have a bit more pain or swelling on one side after surgery - so that by itself is not a reason to worry. Be sure to make your PS aware and follow their medical advice closely. Good luck, Dr. Aldo.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 reviews

Sweeling post aug

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This is not unusaul.I tell aptients a little difference in swelling is normal.As long as it is not overly huge tender and sore you should do fine.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Pain and Swelling on One Side

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Your one line description might be alarming, and a sign of hematoma, but the photos look quite normal, and makes that rather unlikely. Most patients have  more pain on one side than the other, and more swelling on one side than the other, usually without explanation..

Presumably you will be following up with your surgeon. Thanks, and best wishes for an uneventful recovery.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Asymmetric healing is common, but don't be shy about having the surgeon take a look.

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Asymmetry of healing is the rule rather than the exception.  However, if you have any doubts about the healing process, your surgeon should have no trouble giving you time for evaluation.

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.