Shoulder Pain After Breast Augmentation?

Day 8 post op I started experiencing shoulder pain. The pectoral muscles where they meet the shoulder and armpit are very sore and deep inside the shoulder feels like a toothache. There is numbness going down the deltoid muscle to the elbow. The muscle inside the scapula is very tense and knotted. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do? I am taking 500mg naproxen twice a day and T3's for the pain, it dulls it a bit but doesn't take it away. Will this resolve on its own?

Doctor Answers 3

Shoulder Pain After Breast Augmentation Surgery?

It is not unusual to develop referred pain to one or even both shoulders, after breast augmentation. The most common cause could be inflammation due to stretching of the nerve envelope that controls the base of your shoulder. Assuming you don't have Pneumothorax (air in the outside lining of the lungs) as a result of surgery, something that can be ruled out fairly easily by clinical exam and x-ray. Ask your doctor to check it.
Other reason; inflammation that will take care of itself in a couple of weeks. You will do fine.
Daniel Man MD

Board certified plastic surgeon, Boca Raton


Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Shoulder Pain After Breast Augmentation Surgery?

I'm sorry to hear about  discomfort you are experiencing after breast augmentation surgery. You should have peace of mind that these symptoms generally resolve with time. You may have additional relief with muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories and occasional narcotic use, under the supervision of your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Pain After Breast Augmentation

Hello. What you are experiencing sounds like skeletal pain and a muscle spasm. You should consult your surgeon to ensure proper treatment.


Jaime Perez, MD
Breast Augmentation Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 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.