What Are Signs of a Hematoma After Breast Augmentation?

I had breast augmentation a little over a wk ago, the implants were placed submuscular, my left breast seems to be slightly more swollen then my right, and causes me much more discomfort than my right breast, especially when i wake up. I worry this may be a sign of a hematoma or something is wrong.

Doctor Answers 45

Signs of a Hematoma

Slightly more swelling in one breast over the other is the rule, not the exception and is totally normal  This will settle down over time and they will be more symmetrical.  A significant change in size in one side compared to the other is the tell-tale sign of hematoma, and you should call your surgeon, immediately if this occurs.

Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Signs of hematoma after breast augmentation


It is not uncommon to have one breast hurt more and feel tighter than the other.  This is almost routine since our anatomy is not always the same from one side to another.  Signs of a hematoma that needs to be fixed includes:

Expanding size of the breast

Significant brusing

Progressively worse pain

Usually all of these signs are noted together when a breast hematoma occurs.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

Signs of Hematoma after Breast Augmentation

The signs of a hematoma are often very obvious and dramatic in appearance.  A patient would want to watch out for are swelling (rapid), extensive bruising and significant, constant or worsening pain as these are the three warning signs for a post-operative hematoma.  If you are concerned that you might have developed a post-operative hematoma, I would strongly recommend immediate follow up with your operating surgeon as these typically require quick surgical intervention to prevent the development of secondary complications. 

With that said, following a breast augmentation with sub-muscular placement, a patient should expect some swelling and discomfort that is often asymmetric in severity.  Often this discomfort is more prominent on the patient's more dominant (handed) side than the other, but follow up with your operating surgeon is always recommended.  I hope this helps!

What Are the Signs of a Hematoma After Breast Augmentation?

The signs of a hematoma after breast augmentation are a great deal of swelling more on one side than the other. The swelling may cause the breast to swell a cup size or more larger than the other breast. Also a great deal of pain on the swollen side along with bruising on the swollen side are other signs. Having a slight amount of swelling more on one side than the other is normal and expected after breast augmentation. 

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 105 reviews


It would seem unlikely that you have a hematoma as both breasts are relatively the same size and shape. If unsure see your plastic surgeon for a follow up examination.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Signs of Hematoma After Breast Augmentation

The three signs of hematoma are swelling, pain, bruising.  Usually the affected sign gets very swollen and painful, and shows extensive bruising.  There may even be some bloody discharge from the incision.  Usually if you have a hematoma it is fairly obvious but if you are not sure have your surgeon check it out.

PostOp Hematomas are Characterized by Sudden Swelling, Pain, Bruising with Purple Discoloration & Significant Asymmetry

The type of swelling and discomfort that you are experiencing is probably normal. Patients undergoing breast augmentation can anticipate significant swelling in the immediate post operative period. The swelling can be asymmetric and tends to resolve quickly in the vast majority of patients.

In contrast, post operative hematomas are characterized by sudden swelling, pain, bruising with purple discoloration and significant asymmetry. Hematomas require re operative surgery to control bleeding and evacuate residual blood within the breast pocket. It’s important to recognize and treat hematomas following breast augmentation promptly to avoid secondary complications. Untreated hematomas can result in significant capsular contractures. In light of your concerns, it’s appropriate for you to seek consultation with your plastic surgeon. Although it’s most likely swelling, a careful evaluation is still appropriate.

Post Op Hematoma with Breast Augmentation

Minor differences in swelling and tenderness are not usually a cause for concern. If you have a significant hematoma, the difference will be obvious and dramatic. In either case, if you are concerned you should contact you surgeon who can give you an expert opinion.

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Ice and relax

slight differences in swelling and pain are normal. no need to worry. signs of a hematoma are bruising, extensive and progressive or worsening swelling on one side, and intense sudden onset pain on one side. if you have any of these call your surgeon immediately. otherwise, ice and relax.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

What Are Signs of a Hematoma After Breast Augmentation

The signs of a hematoma following breast augmentation are usually increased swelling and pain.  You should be checked if you suspect a hematoma because you may need operative intervention.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 99 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.