Underarm Swelling Normal After BL/BA? (photo)

I will be 2 weeks post OP tomorrow following a breast lift with silicone gel implants and some lipo. (I also had a tummy tuck if that is relevant). I had a breast reduction 12 years previous. I have a lot of swelling in the "side boob" area, to the bottom of my armpits and slightly around the back. I am keep the bra on as my PS said, and loosened it when I swell, but even loose, the swelling hurts and gets quite bad. They're why I'm still taking some pain meds.

Doctor Answers 14

Swelling Following Breast Augmentation With Lift

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            Patients undergoing breast augmentation with breast lift 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 4 to 6 weeks, but small amounts of residual swelling may be present for up to 3 to 4 months following surgery.

            Compression bras and dressings are frequently used following breast augmentation with breast lift to minimize swelling. Swelling can add to a patient’s postoperative discomfort. It can also increase anxiety regarding breast size immediately after 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.


Under arm Swelling after Breast Augmentation/Lifting Surgery?

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Thank you for the question and picture. As you can imagine, your plastic surgeon is in the best position to advise  and/or reassure you after direct examination. Online consultants will not be able to do so,  despite best intentions.

Having said that, would not get usual to have some swelling in the area that you mention ( dependent fluid accumulation in the tissues)  considering the operations you have have performed.

 Again, for the most meaningful advise/reassurance touch bases with your plastic surgeon.

 Best wishes.

Swelling at under arms after breast augmentation/lift

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It's not unusual to have some degree of swelling at lateral chest wall/under arm areas after your surgery, especially if it's only 2 weeks post surgery. As long as it's not getting bigger or more swollen each day, it's ok to allow time for the swelling to subside. If you notice a build up of fluid that you can see or shifts when you change position, then you should notify your plastic surgeon because you may be forming a seroma (fluid collection). At any case, regular follow up visits with your plastic surgeon is always a good idea after this type of surgery.

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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Swelling in the area is normal after surgery, but if the area feels excessively warm to the touch or appeared suddenly, you should notify your surgeon. 

Please ask your surgeon about a compression garment as well, which could help with the swelling.

Swelling at the lateral border of a breast lift incision may take a number of weeks to resolve.

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The photo demonstrates a fairly typical appearance to the breast two weeks after a mastopexy. Any contour issues should improve with time as the swelling subsides.

Breast Lift and Breast Aug Lateral Chest Wall Pain

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    After a full breast lift and breast augmentation, lateral chest wall pain is very common.  In the absence of a fluid collection or hematoma, swelling is normal to have in this area. 

Swelling two weeks after breast lift and augmentation

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Thank you for the photo after your breast lift and gel implant augmentation.

  • The photo suggests you have localized swelling on the right side.
  • If you were my patient, I would want to see you.
  • Painful swelling 2 weeks after a breast lift/enlargement worries me. It may mean infection
  • Or it may be fluid that isn't infected or early, painful scar.
  • I suggest you call your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and ask to be seen promptly to determine the cause and treatment for this swelling.

Hope this helps. Best wishes. 

Swelling should resolve

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Given your previous surgery and combining your augmentation with TT, it is not uncommon to have this swelling. As long as it does not seem to be progressing then it should begin to resolve. It likely will be about 6 weeks from surgery before it has all but gone. I usually recommend lymphatic massage to people who have persistent swelling. Your breast tissue probably just has some impaired "drainage" from the previous reduction. The lymphatic massage might help open up new channels and speed up the process. Either way, my guess is that it will be fine. My only other suggestion would be to not try and be too active too quickly. The more lifting and exercise you do, the more swelling you may get. Hang in there. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

BVreast Lift and implant

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Swlling is usually normal after surgery. Just make sure you do not have a seroma. Check with you plastic surgeon

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Post Operative Swelling

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It is difficult to give an accurate opinion without an in-person exam. However, you are very early on in your recovery. It is not at all unusual to have swelling at this point. The swelling should resolve over the next 3 months or so as your healing progresses. If the swelling or pain appears to be getting worse contact your surgeon to be evaluated.

Best of luck.

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.