How long does pain usually last after breast augmentation?

I am postop day 4 after having subpectoral breast implants. I went from 34A to 350cc high profile silicone. I am still in a large amount of pain. I stopped taking narcotic pain meds on day 2. Now I am currently taking Tylenol and a muscle relaxer. I did not have much body fat in my breasts, mainly muscle, from extensive exercise/weightlifting so thought maybe this is why I am having a large amount of pain. I was wondering when the pain usually starts to get better?

Doctor Answers 7

Pain after subpectoral augmentation

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Pain experience is extremely individualized and every patient could have a different experience. That being said, there are certainly "average" experiences which I think is what you are inquiring about. The subpectoral position is generally more painful than submammary, or "above the muscle" position. The size of your implant also could effect your pain experience, especially under the muscle. Some surgeons use long lasting numbing agents and I think that the muscle relaxant you are on is a good idea. Your surgeon will know what the "averages" are with his or her patients based on the techniques utilized to control post operative pain. These techniques can be intra-operative or post-operative. In my practice, I indicate to my patients that their most intense pain will likely be in the first few days and then start to taper down during the latter part of the first week. Soreness but not intense pain is more likely the second week. I do employ a long lasting anesthetic and try to avoid certain maneuvers during surgery which may cause more post operative pain. You are currently very early post-op so your pain is not surprising but I would still expect your pain level to gradually decrease every day. If you have acute increase in pain, please contact your surgeon as it could be related to a post operative complications which could be remedied. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Rocky Mount Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Post Op Pain

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Hello,Pain is usually at it's worst for the first 3-5 days and will be almost entirely resolved by two weeks. After that some mild sensitivity or incision soreness while healing is normal. If you feel that you need stronger pain medication right now let your Plastic Surgeon know. You can likely expect to feel less pain soon though.
All the best

How long does pain last after Breast Augmentation?

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Most patients in my practice no longer need prescription pain medication after 48 hrs and typically use Tylenol.  Pain perception does vary from patient to patient.  Sub pectoral or dual plane augmentation is more uncomfortable than above the muscle (subglandular) .  Other things that contribute to a higher level of discomfort is larger implant size and smaller breast size to begin with.  More musclular patients also sometimes have more discomfort due to the stretching of the muscle.  Muscle relaxants usually help more than prescription pain meds with muscular pain.   Best of luck in your recovery.  Raymond Jean MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Bryn Mawr, Philadelphia PA

Raymond Jean, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Breast augmentation recovery

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Recovery varies from person to person.  It is not uncommon for patients to use the narcotics and muscle relaxers for a week after surgery.  Usually it is tapered with more frequent doses at the beginning of the week, trending to maybe only a dose or two by the end of the week.  If you find your pain is not lessening over time contact your surgeon for instructions.  Sometimes various types of massage can be used as well.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


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Pain varies for most women, but some may need pain medication over the first week. Placing the implants behind the muscle is more painful. Please discuss any concerns you have with your surgeon.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Pain after breast augmentation surgery

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When having pain, It's always a good idea to check with your surgeon. In general, I inform my patients that discomfort usually eases up around the fourth day after surgery, and if they need medication they can alternate Tylenol with ibuprofen every two hours. My patients feel that the anti inflammatory action of the ibuprofen helps a great deal. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths. Hope this helps.

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Pain after surgery

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Thank you for your question.The pain experienced does vary from person to person. The majority of the pain should settle after a week, but you may still require the occasional pain killer in your second week.Good luck

Chien C. Kat, FRCS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 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.