Swelling after breast implant surgery

Swelling after breast implant surgery

09th Oct 2019

Swelling after breast implant surgery


One of the most popular procedures in the plastic surgery field is breast implant surgery, also known as breast augmentation with implants. Women go under the knife in the hopes of a beautiful cleavage. Most of them are more than happy with the results and will do it all over again.

Now, when it comes to the healing process, many of them suffer a lot and start wondering if theirs was a good decision. The good news is that a healing process is common to any surgery type and soon they will feel better and more beautiful. Still, it is important to know what to expect afterward, and one of the most common issue is the swelling that occurs.

Swelling is a normal result of all medical procedures. This phenomenon appears in our body as a means of protecting itself from an external trauma, which surgery is. The inflammation increases the movement of white blood cells and plasma, and these trigger the immune system. So, first, you should know this is normal.

Cold compresses can help with the swelling, but only within 24 to 48 hours from the procedure. Cold makes the small blood vessels constrict, and this means less bleeding and less swelling.

In the case of breast implant surgery, the swelling could look rather strange to the patient, especially at the beginning. Patients complain after surgery that their breasts look like torpedoes and their chest feels very tight. Some are worried that the surgeon put the implants too high by mistake. The reality is that tissues and muscles need time to adjust and settle and accept the implant. The pole of the breast is tighter than the upper one, therefore at the beginning the implant will stay in the upper part of the breast closer to the neckline, looking fake and strange. In time it drops and settles in the natural positions once the muscle relaxes and stretches. This whole process can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months, depending on the firmness of the patient’s tissue.

This swelling can be more significant in one breast than the other, so you do not need to worry. Still, if the swelling becomes bigger suddenly, or if the difference between breasts is highly significant, or the swelling tends to be more visible on the side of the breast, then you should immediately contact your plastic surgeon.

There are also some medications that should be avoided to keep swelling at a minimum. Doctors advise their patients to not take medications such as vitamin E, aspirin or ibuprofen, and some consider that these should be avoided as much as possible before surgery. These medications may lead to excessive bleeding.

Another factor that can cause more swelling and even pain is sleeping on the chest. Surgeons forbid their patients to sleep on their chest for about two months. Sleeping on the side is not a good idea also. During this key period, doctors recommend patients to sleep on their back. If you are planning to have such an operation and you are a tummy sleeper, then you should start getting used to your new sleeping positions by trying to find some props to help you with it (pillows, etc.).

Due to the swelling, the breast can feel very firm. There is no need to worry, and this is also to be expected. Implants are soft, being made of a liquid material in most cases (saline solution, silicone, etc.), so they will not have an impact on the firmness.

Nevertheless, if at any time you think there is something wrong with your breasts after the surgery, you should contact your doctor and let him advise what’s best to do.


Share this article: