Swelling from left breast, underarm all the way to my back. (Photos)

Hello .. I am 6 days post op. I f/u with my PS on 10/19. Over the past 2 days I've had severe swelling in my left breast all the way to my back. I understand that each breast will heal at different times. But the swelling is really staring to worry me. My right side is great :) The left breast is starting to look a lil boxy? (I also still have some pain in my left breast. i would really appreciate it, if someone could give me a lil feedback . So that Ican have some reassurance :) Thank you all in advance!

Doctor Answers 12

Asymmetric Swelling


Based on your photos, I have concern that you had some post operative bleeding, enough to possibly accumulate around your left breast implant. Although leaving it alone and allowing your body to heal puts you at higher risk for capsular contracture, either draining it percutaneously under ultrasonic guidance or even surgical evacuation have not shown to minimize that risk substantially. Please follow up with your surgeon for proper care. Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

You've had your appointment

and hopefully your concerns addressed and reassured where needed.  The only question I would have would be whether you were experiencing an obvious change in size along with pain, and if so, be concerned about bleeding.  But if not changing,  simply hang on and allow your body to heal.  Warm compresses seem to help the bruising resolve faster without having to spend anymore dollars on ointments and herbal supplements.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

6 days post op, some advices:

Thanks for the question.

Its too early to talk about results. In my practice, after performing a BA I recommend to my patients to limit the movement of the arms for two weeks. After that, you can move your arms taking care and always with common sense. In this regard, it's not advisable to carry heavy weights to prevent the implant out of position, and allow the formation of the physiological capsule around the implant, also to avoid pain and breast swelling. 

Kind regards

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Swelling from left breast implant, underarm all the way to my back.

Thank you for your question.  I suggest that she see your plastic surgeon to rule out a hematoma.  Usually a hematoma causes very severe swelling, sense of pressure and pain.  However it is impossible to diagnose via a photograph and on the Internet.  Please see your surgeon.

Swelling left breast

If you have concerns that you have more pain and swelling on the left side compared to the right side you really should be seen prior to 10/19. If the swelling is progressively worsening then this is concerning.  Best of luck to you

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Breast swelling

it is not unusual for the two sides to be different.  The major concern is for postoperative bleeding, but you would have extensive bruising with that.  Overall your result looks fine but be sure to follow up with your surgeon to make sure everything is okay.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Swelling from left breast, underarm all the way to my back.

There is no way to tell without an exam, but from your description you may have a small hematoma. The fee you paid the surgeon includes post op care and you would be much better served to be seeing your surgeon with questions like these rather than asking questions of an online panel that has never examined you. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Hematoma is the concern

You may indeed have normal post operative swelling, but your story and photos are a little concerning for hematoma. This can only be evaluated in person by your doctor. This is the type of issue we want to know about early.  If it's normal, so be it. But if it represents a hematoma, then we can address it sooner when there is less risk of long term problems. Give them a call; I'm sure they will want to evaluate you. Best wishes. 

Check with your doctor

Try to send these photos to your doctors office so they can evaluate.  The swelling may be OK, but it is concerning.  A checkup would be the best.

Breast Augmentation: Post Operative Recovery

Dear Charsheen,

Thank you for your photos and questions. Based soley on your photos and story it appears that your left breast is slightly larger than your right breast. You are correct that each breast can "recover" at different rates and may take several months to "equalize".

This can be caused by swelling, temporary fluid, blood (hematoma),  left implant has not "seated", etc. 

I suggest you call your Plastic Surgeon and be seen by him/her today

My best,

Dr. Hardesty

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.