I Am in Severe Pain After my Breast Augmentation - Is It a Hematoma?

I had a Corrective BA 6 days ago & have since been in severe pain on the left, to the point that I cannot lift my left arm, my whole side & under my arm pit are swollen terribly and am having sharp shooting pains when I breath. I am unable to get out of bed, pain killers are not helping and I really need a second opinion. I really do not know what to do or who to talk to about this. The surgeon said to stop stressing and has wiped his hands of it. Pls Help!

Doctor Answers 26

Breast pain and swelling after breast implant surgery

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Complaints of pain and swelling after breast augmentation are always to be taken seriously.  You should insist on seeing your surgeon personally.  If he has seen you already and feels there is nothing wrong, you can either accept his opinion or seek a second opinion.

If he is unwilling to see you with such complaints, you should seek a second opinion.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Hematoma (Bleeding) after Breast Augmentation

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Dear Renee1979,

It is hard to tell from that photo - if you can post a front photo showing both sides from about 4 feet away it might be easier to see - but your symptoms are very worrisome for a hematoma.  Above all else you need to be seen - IN PERSON - by a plastic surgeon, either your own or another.  If you cannot see your own plastic surgeon, for any reason, you should contact another one near you or, as as last resort, go to an Emergency Room at a nearby hospital and ask them to contact someone for you. 

It can be difficult to diagnose a small hematoma and, in fact, a small amount of blood left in place after this surgery is probably normal, and is routinely absorbed by the body.

But this degree of discrepancy - one side is fine, the other is larger, painful, you cannot move your arm, etc - is strongly suggestive of a hematoma and you need surgical attention right away.

Good luck,

Dr. E

Recovery after breast implant surgery

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Their may be some miscommunication between you and your surgeon. You say he has washed his hands of it. Is that after seeing you or without any examination for your current complaints? Since you pay for surgery and aftercare at one time if he has not seen you for this complaint and refuses to do so move on -go to the emergency room or find another surgeon. If he/she has seen you and doesn't feel it is a hematoma that is another story. Without having examined or operated on you there is no way for us to know what the problem is from this limited photo.

If your surgeon has seen you but the 2 of you disagree on the severity of the problem that is a different situation. In that case my suggestion would be to ask your surgeon for a referral to a colleague who can reassure you or help your surgeon change his/her mind. Doctors are only human and every one of us is prone to tunnel vision when it comes to our own patients and their results/complications. If there is a problem after surgery it is usually best and cheapest for the operating surgeon to correct it.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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Severe pain, post BAM

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At 6 days, you should be getting better, no worse.  Of course, I have to tember my remarks with the fact that I don't know what was done to "correct" the situation.

In any event, prudence would dictate that you see the doctor today to be evaluated.  You do have bruising for sure.  An  ultrasound may be indicated depending on exam.

You didn't mention if the size of the breast is expanding?



Severe pain after breast augmentation

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I agree you should go immediately to see another board-certified plastic surgeon and if you cannot get into someone's office then simply go to the ER and they will call the plastic surgeon on-call for the hospital.  This sounds like a post operative hematoma which is not an absolute emergency, but it does need to be addressed as soon as possible.  Any board certified plastic surgeon will be able to tell if you have a hematoma on examination.  If you do, then the solution is going back to surgery to wash out the hematoma and replace the implant.  The good news is afterwards you will notice a rapid improvement.  Hematomas occcur in about 1% of all breast augmentations.  If they are tended too properly and recognized the final results are still excellent and not compromised.  If they are ignored, then most patients go on to develop a capsular contracture on that side. I hope this helps!


James F. Boynton, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Severe pain after BA should be treated.

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As you stated, you really need a second opinion and your surgeon is unwilling to see you.  You should schedule a visit to another surgeon asap and do not hesitate going to the ER if you feel it is necessary. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Severe pain after breast augmentation

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I'm sorry this has happened to you. While some pain is normal, it sounds like your pain is outside of what is expected. If your surgeon won't see you, make an appointment to see another plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Concerns after breast augmentation

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If you are having problems after surgery, you should absolutely call your doctor and go see him.  Your doctor should be available to you.

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

Contact your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Anytime you have concerns, be it pain or healing, you should contact your surgeon. If your surgeon is unresponsive to your concerns, go to your local emergency room. best wishes!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Severe Incapacitating Breast Pain after Augmentation in Australia

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I cannot understand why would a Plastic surgeon do the Potius Pilsate and "wash his hands" from his patient. This is wrong on MULTIPLE levels not worth enumerating. You should NEVER be in such severe pain NOR have any of the symptoms you enumerated . It does not look like you have a hematoma but this does not mean you do not. Go the the nearest emergency room as soon as possible and have them get a chest film to make sure you do not have a chest perforation - pneumothorax or another serious complication. Sounds like yoiu picked a dud for a surgeon. Good Luck and do not wait. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.