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After Breast Augmentation: What Is Normal And What Is Not

After Breast Augmentation: What Is Normal And What Is Not

Everyone’s body is different and so is their healing process. After your breast augmentation surgery, you will have certain experiences during the healing process that are expected, but it’s important to know what those are so that you can be aware of any abnormal symptoms that may arise during the healing process.

It can be hard to tell what reactions are a part of healthy recovery and what reactions are not, especially when your body is in the midst of healing and things are swelling and uncomfortable. Remember that your breasts will heal and you will see the outcomes you and your plastic surgeon discussed before surgery, but until then here is what may happen while you heal from your breast augmentation surgery.

What To Expect After Breast Augmentation

When healing from your breast augmentation surgery, here is what to expect and when you should consider calling your plastic surgeon:


  • What is normal: Swelling will likely peak around 3-5 days post-surgery, but it should subside by around 3 weeks. There may be some lingering swelling up to 3 months later. Swelling is a guaranteed side effect, so if you’re seeing swelling or bruising do not be concerned, especially if it is shortly after the surgery
  • What is not normal: If the swelling hasn’t subsided after three months and if your breasts are warm to the touch or you have a fever, call your plastic surgeon.

Tightness in the chest

  • What is normal: Some feelings of tightness can be expected, especially if your implant was placed under your chest muscle. Your body is getting used to carrying more weight and perhaps in a slightly different location than before. This means your muscles could need time to adjust and build strength, which will also leave you feeling stiff.
  • What is not normal: Feeling tightness or stiffness that lingers more than 3 months or having pain due to tightness 1 month after surgery. Most of the tightness should dissipate two weeks after surgery.

Breasts or nipples looking uneven

  • What is normal: Your breasts will not look perfect right away and they may look uneven or misshapen shortly after surgery. The breasts need time to settle into their final position and this doesn’t happen until they’ve mostly healed. In the meantime, they may appear to be too high on the chest, be different sizes, droop unevenly, or seem too unnaturally shaped. Until your breasts have had a chance to heal and settle, they won’t look perfect. Give them time and they’ll look more like the “after” photos you expect.
  • What is not normal: If after 3 months and other symptoms have subsided and your breasts still seem uneven, misshapen, or if one of them seems hard to the touch, call your plastic surgeon. At this point they should be settled and should look how they are supposed to.

Stomach issues

What is normal: Nausea and constipation can happen after any surgery. It may be a reaction to the anesthetic or to any medications or it may be related to your change in activity post surgery. If you’re having stomach issues, they should last no more than a week. In the meantime, try to drink lots of water, take your medication with your meals, and do mild exercise that won’t interfere with recovery, such as taking walks.

What is not normal: stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation that lasts more than a week. If symptoms persist, contact your plastic surgeon. It may only take an adjustment to your diet and exercise routine to fix the problem, but make sure to ask your surgeon before taking any diuretics or laxatives.

Feeling sad

What is normal: feeling sad or not quite yourself after surgery of any kind is common. It can be because of medication, disruption to your routine or even the anesthesia. As your breasts are healing and don’t look settled, you may be feeling some regret about having your surgery, but this doesn’t mean you’ve made the wrong choice or that you’re going to continue to be upset, you just need time to adjust. Once your breasts start healing and settling, they’ll begin to look better and you can see the positive outcome of your choices, giving you the reassurance you need. This alone may help you feel better.

What is not normal: feelings of severe depression or extended periods of unhappiness. If you're feeling extreme sadness, see a qualified mental health professional. If you’re feeling persistently displeased with your breast augmentation, speak with your plastic surgeon about a revision procedure.

Your Breast Augmentation Surgery Can Be Stress Free With The Right Plastic Surgeon

Your body will take a while to heal but after 3 months you should be mostly recovered. If your symptoms persist longer than 3 months or if you feel something is wrong, talk to your plastic surgeon. 

If you are considering breast augmentation or any type of breast surgery, the team at Peterson MD are here to guide you through the entire process from consultation through surgery, recovery, and beyond. Dr. Brian Peterson is one of Kelowna’s Top Plastic Surgeons, providing fly-in and fly-out surgeries for people all over the world. Reach out to his team to book in for a complimentary consultation by calling 1 (888) 505-8895 for toll-free, 1 (250) 868-9099 if you are in the Okanagan, or by sending us your information in the contact form below. 


Q: What should I do about soreness after breast augmentation surgery?
A: Your plastic surgeon at Peterson MD will give you instructions for how to care for yourself post-surgery and they will recommend either prescription or over the counter medication to help with pain. You can also use a cold compress on tender or painful areas. Remember to wear a supportive or surgical bra for 6 to 8 weeks after your breast augmentation surgery.

Q: What do I do if my breasts are a really weird shape after surgery?
A: Before you try to schedule another surgery, give your breasts three months to heal and settle and if they still don’t meet your expectations, consult with your plastic surgeon.

Q: I’m having shooting pains in my nipples. Is this normal?
A: There are lots of nerve endings in your nipples, making them quite sensitive after breast enhancement surgery. These pains can last for up to 6 months, but their frequency should decrease. If they don’t decrease or are rather painful after a few months, call Dr. Peterson and his team at Peterson MD in Kelowna, BC.

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