Painful incision 1 week after breast augmentation. Is it normal?

My BA was on 05/22/14. My right incision (my active arm) is healing well and have no pain, but the left one is so painful, I always am aware of it. When I have prolong period of standing, the pain is worse and I can feel the pain go all the way down to my left upper stomach area. When I move my left arm, it hurts more, I can even feel it as I type this question. Is it normal? The site is covered in a white small tape, I can't see it, but it does not look red or swollen. Thank you for your answer!

Doctor Answers 5

Painful Incision After Breast Augmentation

I'm sorry to hear about the pain you are having in your breast augmentation incision. I am assuming this is an inframammary incision. It is not uncommon for one incision to hurt more than the other. These sensations can manifest as aches, burning sensations, shooting pains, pulling sensations, amongst other things; even numbness can occur. The exact cause is not often known. Generally, these resolve over several weeks, but it may take a few months in some cases.

Your comment regarding the pain traveling down toward your left upper abdomen suggests that perhaps you may have thrombophlebitis. Patients who develop Mondor’s disease following breast augmentation can have pain in the region of the inframammary incision, and this pain can extend down the lower chest wall. I recently had a patient who noted a rather persistent pain in her left inframammary incision for about a week. After that time period she developed a Mondor’s cord, and the source of her pain was therefore very evident.

Mondor’s superficial thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory process which affects superficial veins of the breast and anterior chest wall. The inflamed vein can present as a visible and palpable cord which is particularly tender. This process is self-limiting and will resolve without specific treatment. However warm compresses, gentle massage, and anti-inflammatory drugs can provide improvement.

Again, I am not certain if this is what you have, but you may want to follow the link below to read more. You should bring your concerns to the attention of your surgeon who may have additional advice. Best wishes on a speedy recovery.

Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Pain after BA

Pain that is overwhelming and can't be minimized with prescribed pain medication should be checked out by your surgeon. Unfortunately, there is no way of telling you what it could be without a physical assessment.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast Augmentation

Keep your surgeon in the loop!  Get follow up as soon as you can. Of course it is normal to have incisional pain, sometimes severe. It sounds like this is all within the normal difference patients have from one side to the other, but you want to be sure.  All the best,
"Dr. Joe"

Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Painful Incision Post Breast Augmentation

Sometimes women will have tenderness at the inframammary incisional scar or slightly below it.  This area may feel firm or may even look like a raised “guitar string”.  This may be what you are experiencing.  Anti-inflammatory analgesic like Advil or Naprosyn and massaging of the area can be helpful.  Always follow-up with your plastic surgeon so that he or she can determine that your recovery continues on track.

Paul Fortes, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

See your plastic surgeon for painful incision on one side and after breast augmentation

Thank you for your question.   It is not uncommon for one side incision to be more painful than the other.  This may be due to the fact that the implant was more difficult to insert on one side.

However it is always best that you contact and see your plastic surgeon for an examination to make certain that there is nothing wrong.

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.