I just got my breast augmentation and haven't had that pain.

But then a week later I'm in so much pain. What does that mean?

Doctor Answers 4

Reasons for delayed pain 1 week after BBA?

Thank you for your question.

Generally speaking, your pain should be getting better each and every day. However, from my experience, some patients have had more pain 2-3 days later, but never 1 week later. This is why you should definitely follow-up SOON with your board-certified surgeon to rule out any problems with your breasts, implants, and the healing process.

That being said, let me cite certain reasons for higher pain later in the recovery period.

Patients will generally be given narcotics and local anesthetics that would prevent perception of pain, but when these medications are eliminated from the body generally 1 day after surgery, the pain will be perceived again making you think that the pain has increased. This is will be coupled with swelling, firmness, and discomfort.

Some patients reach their peak of swelling after 2 or 3 days, and this can cause the breasts to feel firm and tight. The swelling in addition to the implants can put pressure on the sensory nerves resulting in either numbness of the breasts, or increased pain – hypersensitivity of the breast. For the cases I have seen, this is more likely with high profile implants and implants that are larger than your breast boundaries. Once the swelling subsides and breasts stretch to accommodate implants, sensory nerves will be less compressed over time, and the pain will subside. Such patients can have nerves which remember the pain signals and keep sending pain signals leading to neuropathic pain. Gabapentin may help in this situation.

Some patients may accidently work out their chest muscles leading to soreness and not follow the pain management protocol. If you are engaging in excessive activity, or are lifting weights more than 5-10 pounds this early in recovery, then that can increase swelling, discomfort and pain as well. If you experienced a sudden pull or jerk on your arms (and ultimately your chest muscles), then that may also be another reason for your pain.

Other rare cases in my experience was due to premenstrual syndrome, and interactions with certain medications. One-sided breast pain may be due to referred pain, an infection, and blood collection near the breast implant (unilateral hematoma).

It is very difficult to tell what is causing your pain and so I urge you to get in touch with your plastic surgeon for follow-ups and questions.  Always consult with them first, and their instructions should take precedence over everything else you read here.

Hope this helps and take care.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews

Pain after breast augmentation

Your pain should be getting better after 1 week, rather than worse.  It could be an indication you are overdoing your activities or you are having other issues.  Let your PS know about your concerns so he/ she can evaluate you.

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Pain Increase 1 Week Post Op

I recommend that you discuss any concerning changes with your Plastic Surgeon. It is difficult to determine why your pain is increasing without an in-person meeting. It could be that you need to increase pain medication, change activity restrictions or address something else. Let your Plastic Surgeon advise you as they know your case the best.
Take care

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Pain

The pain should get better every day. If your pain is one sided, then it could be a collection of blood called a hematoma and this would need to be surgically addressed by your surgeon. You could have a hematoma on both sides but it is rare. You should definitely see your surgeon as soon as possible to have them examined.

Joshua B. Hyman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 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.