Is It Normal to Feel a Bloated in Stomach After Breast Aug?

Been feeling bloated in my stomach since surgery. I'm 3 days post op. Still pretty swollen up top like normal. Actually wouldn't feel that bad if I didn't have this bloated feeling. Is there something that will help? I already have been using laxitives.

Doctor Answers 15

Bloated feeling 3 days after breast augmentation is combination of two things.

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Anesthesia drugs can decrease normal GI tract function, and even as they wear off, narcotic pain medications and reduced activities can slow intestinal movement of food and gas through the gut. Bloating and constipation result. Laxatives stimulate peristalsis, but may not work uniformly in all areas of the GI tract, leaving cramps and a more bloated feeling. Try to stop your pain pills as soon as possible. Tylenol will not disturb gut function!

The second cause of that bloated feeling is actual fluid swelling from your chest and breasts moving by gravity (as you are upright most of the day) towards your abdomen, hips, and eventually legs. This can add to an already bloated feeling.

Do not restrict fluids or take "water pills;" you need to stay hydrated to return to normal bowel function. Be up and active (do not exercise) as movement helps restore gut function. Take stool softeners and go easy on the stimulants (laxatives).

Relax; this will pass in another day or two. If your bowels have not returned to normal function by day 6, you should call your doctor. Best wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Bloating After Breast Augmentation

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This is probably related to swelling, which you can help get rid of by drinking plenty of water, going to the washroom regularly and walking leisurely around to keep your circulation going. Over the course of a few weeks, your bloated feeling will most likely away. Maximum swelling occurs at about 3-5 days post surgery breast augmentation. Most bruising and swelling will resolve within 14 days. Best of luck! 

Swelling Of Abdomen Post Procedure

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It is very common to have anesthesia bloat post procedure! It will subside naturally within about two weeks. Narcotics can also cause constipation so that causes mild tummy bloat. A gentle stool softener can help treat that symptom. Best of luck. Happy healing.

David Rosenstein, MD
Boynton Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Bloating after a breast aug

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So glad you asked.  So  - breast augmentation surgery has absolutely no effect upon your stomach...  but...  the narcotic pain meds that you take - vicodin - dilaudid - percocet - will make you constipated and bloated!!  So whenever you take narcotics always take stool softeners as well; to avoid the associated bloating and constipation.


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What yo describe is perfectly normal and part of my usual advice I provide to all my patients regarding bloating and weight gain.

Constipation and the associated bloating is an unpleasant possible issue in the first week or two after surgery. This is typically caused by the pain killers used during and after surgery which cause constipation and bloating. Also, being less mobile after surgery exacerbates this. So have plenty of fluids and fibre, and take additional products to help keep you regular such as Metamucil. This will definitely pass.

WEIGHT GAIN is another important thing to be aware of. After surgery you will be less active than normal - burning less calories. You will be at home more and likely eating more than usual - consuming more calories. Therefore, it is very easy and common to put in weight in the early stages after surgery. At a time when you should be feeling happy and have a boost in your confidence, you can easily be a little upset over weight gain.

So understanding these issues is generally the best way of trying to avoid them....or at least minimise them.

Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Abdominal swelling after breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question. Abdominal swelling is normal after breast augmentation. Swelling follows gravity and thus your abdomen (and sometimes the thighs) will experience more swelling and add confusion to the post-op period. You may even notice that you've added many pounds on the scale that cannot be explained solely by the addition of implants. You should notice a decrease in the abdominal swelling with each week that passes by.

Totally normal

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After any surgical procedure, temporary "bloating" is not at all uncommon for many reasons. Even when the surgical site is remote from the abdomen, the systemic effects of anesthesia, pain meds (especially narcotics), lack of appetite, dehydration and inactivity can all lead to temporary bloating or obstipation. "It will pass" :-) The best treatment is tincture of time along with lots of fluids, increasing activity, limiting pain meds as well as over the counter remedies such as certain foods (fiber, prune juice) and gentle laxatives such as metamucil or miralax.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Bloated after breast augmentation

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Thank you for the question. You are still early in the post operation recovery stage. It is not uncommon to feel pain, itchiness, and slight abnormalities during this period. It usually takes about 8-12 weeks for the wounds to heal and around 4-6 months for the implants to fully settle. It would be best to visit your board-certified plastic surgeon and get a full assessment if you have any concerns. Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Bloating after surgery

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Without examining you it is difficult to say what is causing your bloating. However, the narcotics that patients take post surgery can cause the patient to become constipated. This might be one cause for your bloating. Best to call your surgeons office and let them know your concerns. 

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Bloating is common, this should resolve in 5-7 days

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It’s not unusual for patients to have a sensation of bloating following breast augmentation surgery.This can occur for several reasons including localized swelling in the upper abdomen and constipation from narcotics use.
When patients undergo breast augmentation, they typically develop swelling in the lower chest and upper abdomen from the surgical dissection.In most cases, this swelling resolves in 5 to 7 days following surgery.
Patients also frequently develop constipation and bloating from narcotic pain relievers.For this reason, patients should maintain hydration, ambulate frequently and switch to nonnarcotic pain relievers as soon as possible.In some cases, laxatives may be necessary as well.

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.