How Much Will Swelling Reduce After Breast Implants? (photo)

I had 400cc saline implants put in over the muscle 3 days ago. I am 5'10" and about 140lbs. I was big breasted beofre but lost a lot of volume after pregnancy and breastfeeding. I am not too sore but seem to be very tight and swollen. I know it is to be expected, but I am curious as to how much the swelling will go down. I was told to expect a full C cup or a small D and right now I measure an E cup and they appear quite asymmetrical. I'ma bit worried and could use some reassurance. Thank You

Doctor Answers 13

Swelling after breast augmentation

Your breast is probably not swollen, and the subglandular implant under thin cover has given a round and projected look that we hope you discussed carefully before your procedure. A softer more natural augmentation might be had with a submuscular moderate profile implant, perhaps a smaller volume. Some asymmetry is to be expected as the skin envelope is different right to left.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Your augmantation result should improve with time.

Thank you for your question.  From your pictures, it appears that you and your surgeon decided on saline implants in the submammry plane, through an inframammary incision.  It is very early after surgery and swelling is not uncommon.  Swelling will improve with time and your breasts will improve in appearance.  The asymmetry that you see likely will improve with time if it wasn't present pre-operatively. 

Pre-operatively, when you did your sizing in her office, you should have determined what implant size was correct for you.  Your final result will look like your sizer did, don't worry.

In my practice, most patients chose submuscular, cohesive gel implants.  I use both Allergan and Mentor implants and all implant styles.  I find cohesive gel implants, placed under the muscle, give the most natural, soft, appearing breasts with no ripples.  I get my patients to do arm movements immediately after surgery.  We start advil day 2.  Implant movements are started 6 days post operatively.  .

I would keep your booked follow up appointments with your surgeon and follow the recommend post operative care instructions.  In the event that you need a second opinion, I am in your city and would be happy to see you at any time.  

All the Best.  Scott Barr, MD, FRCSC, Plastic Surgeon. 

Scott Barr, MD
Sudbury Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Expect swelling to decrease over the next 3 months

Thank you for your question. The healing process goes in stages. You will be the most swollen the day after surgery or 2 days after surgery. After that, the swelling will begin to subside. In my opinion all of the swelling should subside by 3 months and at that point at least one of the implants will have settled but they never settle at the same time. Usually, they settle around 1 to 2 months apart.

Good Luck!

Jacob Freiman, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 271 reviews

Breast augment with asymmetry and swelling

unfortunately it appears that the spaces were not opened enough to accomodate your 400 cc implants.  They also appear to be in front of the muscle. there can be some swelling and the tissues may stretch to some degree but possibly not enough for them to become soft, more natural in appearance. time will tell.  you need to take these issues to your operating surgeon.  if your concerns are not adequately addressed you may to get additional opinions from other plastic surgeons.

William Jervis, Jr., MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Your breasts

Your breasts are likely still pretty swollen.  You can expect swelling to persist for up to two months or more.  As swelling subsides, the symmetry should start to improve.  However, nipple asymmetry that existed before surgery will be present after surgery if you had just a breast augmentation.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Residual Swelling Not Uncommon At This Point!

Patients undergoing breast augmentation can anticipate significant swelling in the immediate postoperative period.This swelling resolves quickly with the vast majority being gone in about three weeks.Almost all of the visible swelling is gone in four to six weeks, but small amounts of residual swelling may be present for up to three to four months following surgery.
Compression bras and dressings are frequently used following breast augmentation, to minimize swelling.Swelling can add to a patient’s postoperative discomfort.It can also increase anxiety regarding breast size immediately following surgery.
For these reasons, we feel it’s important for the patient and the surgeon to have good communication regarding this topic immediately following surgery.In this situation, a little reassurance can go a long way towards making this a more comfortable experience.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Still early in recovery

When implants are first inserted, they sit high up because your tissues are tight and gravity hasn't taken effect. Over time, natural tissue expansion occurs to allow the implants to fall into place. By this time, your breasts will have taken on a more natural contour, where the lower breasts become softer and rounder. Please wait at least four months for this to happen.This process tends to occur sooner in one breast than the other, so don't be alarmed if you find that your left drops before the right or vice versa.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Swelling lasts for many months in breast augmentation

Dear CAMomBy, Thank you for your post. It is very common to be about a size bigger right after surgery than what your final result will be. Swelling starts to occur right after surgery and tends to peak in the first week. After about a month you will have lost most of the swelling, but still not completely at baseline. After about another 3 months or so, you will have lost 99% of your swelling, but still you have a pretty good idea at 1 month. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on bras until 3 months as they might not fit perfectly after all the swelling goes away. Also, the more activity you have, the longer the swelling stays, the more that needs to be done as far as lift etc. with surgery, the longer your swelling stays. Breast tenderness and hardness can also remain due to the swelling. the breasts should become much softer once the swelling is mostly gone. Best Wishes! Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Swelling after implants

Having moderate swelling and asymmetry after a breast augmentation is normal.  Obviously any sudden change in shape, skin temperature, color or discharge is cause for concern.  These should be discussed with your plastic surgeon ASAP.  Most patients expect to be swollen the day after surgery and perfect afterwards.  Unfortunately it takes  3-6 months to see the final results. 


Good luck and thank you for your question.


Anire Okpaku MD FACS



Anire Okpaku, MD FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How Much Will Swelling Reduce After Breast Implants?

Swelling from breast augmentation comes from swelling of the pectoral muscle, from the skin and breast tissue itself and from fluid that is around the implant for a while after the surgery. At 3 days you likely have all 3 and it is common to have asymmetry. You won't know the answer to your question for certain for 2-3 months. That is just normal.

Brett Edward Lehocky, MD
Bakersfield Plastic Surgeon
3.1 out of 5 stars 19 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.