Why is my Saline Implant Swollen After Heavy Lifting?

I've had my implants for 10 years. While doing heavy lifting, I think I pulled a muscle under my arm. I felt sore in my right breast and armpit/underarm. Two days later my right breast swelled up about twice the size. It’s been swollen now for about a week. What is going on?

Doctor Answers 9

Exercise post Implants

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You may have developed a hematoma or seroma. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon as soon as possible to understand your options.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Breast implant concern

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If your breast has swellied up significantly, you may have developed a hematoma ans you should be seen by your doctor ASAP. Do not wait too long.

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

You probably have a hematoma.

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To kh420,

Hi! I am surprised you are not more sore. You need to have a sonogram of your breast right away.

The good news is you probably don't need surgery. If you have fluid (a liquefied hematoma becomes fluid), then an experienced interventional radiologist can remove this fluid with an ultrasound guided needle without punturing the implant. Plastic surgeons cannot do this.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Get it checked out!

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A tear in the capsule can result in either bleeding or seroma formation even years after breast augmentation. See your surgeon -- sooner rather than later to avoid later problems...

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

See your Plastic Surgeon

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Implant swelling of the magnitude you are describing may require therapy. See your plastic surgeon. Seromas, hematoma, infection, capsular contracture, muscle spasm could be present. Your plastic surgeon's expertise will help guide your individual therapeutic options.

Charles Perry, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Have your breasts examined

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It is difficult to say exactly what is happening without an examination. There could have been an injury of sufficient magnitude to cause bleeding around the implant and hence the swelling. Other problems also could be responsible inclusive of infection, implant migration, intrinsic injury to breast tissue aside from the implant/pocket.

No matter what, examination is indicated and additional procedures may be undertaken to either evaluate the problem or to correct the problem. Ideally, exam should be with a Plastic Surgeon as they are familiar with breast implants and associated difficulties. Hope this helps!

Michael A. Marschall, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Possible hematoma

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An acute swelling of the magnitude you describe is not normal. Bleeding into the capsule can occur after exertion and while not necessarily life-threatening needs to be attended to. Intracapsular hematomas increase the risk for capsular contractures or hardening and usually need to be drained.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Consult with a plastic surgeon soon

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We have seen several cases of long-standing implants that "swell up" with heavy activity. Most recently, it happened when a patient went skiing and pulled a muscle. Usually an ultrasound of the breast will detect any fluid build up around the implant. If small, it can be allowed to resolve spontaneously. If it is large, however, it should probably be evacuated surgically to prevent a capsule formation. The best course is to consult with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon soon.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

You need to be seen and evaluated.

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You may have injured yourself and developed a hematoma of the breast. You need to be seen and evaluated by a plastic surgeon and you may need surgery on that breast.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.