Sharp, Electric Shock-Like Pains After Breast Augmentation

I had my breast implants done 3 days ago and beginning the second day (after the anesthesia wore off), I started to feel a very sharp pain like an electrical shock on my left breast. The pain occurs mostly from waking up in the morning or from a nap.My right breast feels perfectly fine. What's causing this?

Doctor Answers 13

You should be more comfortable in 6-9 weeks.

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Breast augmentation is often accompanied by pain, swelling and discomfort.These are essentially normal findings which usually resolve with the passage of time.
The sharp, stabbing, electric shock sensation that you describe frequently occurs when sensory nerves become inflamed and irritated.This type of irritation is not unusual when nerves are compressed and stretched.During and after breast augmentation surgery, this is exactly what happens to the nerves that supply the breasts.The breast implant underneath the breast tissue compresses and stretches the soft tissue and nerves that supply the breast.In many cases, the process is made worse by swelling.
Patients often describe a sharp, stabbing, shooting pain that can be very uncomfortable.These symptoms usually resolve in 6 to 9 weeks without intervention.In some cases, aggressive massage can desensitize the area and minimize the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.

Pain after breast augmentation

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Kendra Lee
After any surgery, it is normal to have pain and discomfort.  Whenever nerves are cut, they have raw nerve endings that need to heal.  While they are healing, these raw endings spontaneously fire signals to the brain that can be perceived as anything from an itch to stabbing pain to burning sensation.  These feelings should subside as the nerve endings heal.  If this is causing you excessive amount of discomfort or if this persists for a long time, you should let your surgeon know and he / she can prescribe you some medication for nerve pain.
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Pain after Breast Augmentation

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It is perfectly normal to be having pain at this point. It never fails that one side hurts more despite the same surgery on each side. Our bodies are naturally asymmetric. Sharp shooting pain like you describe is typically nerve pain. This can result from pressure on a nerve, or  irritation from the surgery on a nerve. Nerve pain generally takes a long time to resolve so be patient.

Pain After Breast Augmentation

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I would encourage you to schedule a visit with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to determine the exact source of your discomfort. 

Suzanne M. Quardt, MD
Palm Springs Plastic Surgeon

Pains after breast augmentation

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Thank you for the question. You are still early in the post operation recovery stage. It is not uncommon to feel pain, itchiness, and swelling during this period. It usually takes about 8-12 weeks for the wounds to heal and around 4-6 months for the implants to fully settle. It would be best to visit your board-certified plastic surgeon and get a full assessment. Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Shooting pain after breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question.  It is most likely that you nerves are cut, tethered or entrapped in scar tissue. It could also be that they were stretched and went out of commission for a while, and now starting to recover and wanting to let you know they are coming alive. If the symptoms are unbearable, then I would visit with your plastic surgeon. There are some medications that can help with the nerve related discomfort.

Pains after augmentation

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Patients may experience many different types of pain after surgery. What you describe is not uncommon following breast augmentation. In particular, sharp intermittent pains often times are nerve pains from stretching. These typically subside as the breast tissue adjusts to the implant size.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

"Electrical" pains are usually due to nerves healing

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It sounds like you are having some normal variation of pain during your very early recovery after breast augmentation. Those nerves will sort themselves out over the coming months, and those pains should lessen. If not, please discuss with your surgeon.

Pains After Breast Augmentation

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Thank you for your question. I have included some typical expectations of breast surgery recovery and signs to watch for following breast augmentation:

  • Stiffness, swelling and bruising in the chest region: These are normal experiences as the skin, muscles and tissue heal. Pain medication and muscle relaxants will help you cope with any discomfort. Consistent sharp pain should be reported to your board-certified surgeon.
  • Hypersensitivity of nipples or lack of sensitivity: This is normal and will gradually resolve over time.
  • A mild to severe itchy feeling of the breasts is possible as healing progresses. An antihistamine like Benadryl can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness. If the skin becomes red and hot to the touch, contact your board-certified surgeon immediately.
  • Asymmetry, the breasts look different, or heal differently: Breasts may look or feel quite different from one another in the days following surgery. This is normal. No two breasts in nature or following surgery are perfectly symmetrical.
  • Discuss returning to work with your board-certified surgeon, in our office it is typically 3-5 days post-surgery but you may not overexert yourself or do any heavy lifting.
  • You may resume exercise and your normal routine at six weeks unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
The pain you are describing could be nerve regeneration. Please follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon with any concerns. 

Breast pains: electrical shocks following implants

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It is not unusual to have sharp electrical pains on one side and not the other due to nerve irritation or compression (neuropraxia).

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.