Following a breast augmentation surgery, when does swelling start to subside?


5 days ago I underwent a breast augmentation surgery with 325cc silicone breast implants. I am 5'1 and 102 pounds. I was hoping to be a C cup, but right now I am fitting into a D bra. Is this due to the swelling? If so, when will the swelling begin to subside? When will I know exactly what bra size I will wear?

Nodas Kapositas, MD,PhD
Greece Plastic Surgeon

After a breast implant surgery, swelling starts to go down gradually, and this will happen in 3 stages. Within 4-6 weeks after the procedure 50% of the swelling will subside, and the rest within a year. Nevertheless, your breast will look great within 6 months.

Kenneth R. Francis, MD:
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

First of all you should relax. It has only been five days after your breast implant surgery and your discharge from the hospital. Certainly, you experience some swelling now which, by the way, is probably at its maximum. You should expect significant improvement during the next 4-6 weeks. At that time, you will get a good idea of your final bra size.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS:
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

The swelling begins to significantly subside by 2 weeks after surgery, provided you follow your doctor’s post-op advice. Most all of the final swelling is gone by 6-8 weeks after surgery. Probably the "final" result is obtained by 3 months.

Robert M. Freund, MD:
New York Plastic Surgeon

It commonly takes 2-3 months for the breast swelling to resolve. Yu will also notice a change in breast shape as the implants become rounder and slightly sag. I usually tell my patients that they will lose about 1/4 cup size from the early post-operative period.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD:
Denver Plastic Surgeon

Yes, you are still swollen so be patient and try not to examine yourself thoroughly yet. Different recovery pace is seen in different people.

Probably, you should get a clear idea of your breast size within the next two months. It would be wise not to buy your long wanted bra prior to that period.

David A. Robinson, MD:
Munster Plastic Surgeon

Swelling begins to resolve within 2 weeks of surgery. By 6 weeks, you should have a pretty good idea of your breast size. All swelling will be gone by 3 months and at that time you will see the final results from your surgery.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS:
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

What you are experiencing is completely normal. Generally, it will take about 4-6 weeks before you see the final result. I recommend my patients to wait for about 6 weeks before buying new bras, until swelling has completely resolved. To me, it sounds like you are healing normally.

Pramit Malhotra, MD:
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon

Swelling is normal after a breast augmentation surgery. However, many patients feel this extra volume because the implants are placed high in the breast. But as the implants descend, normally within 3 weeks to 3 months, your breast will look less swollen, but what really happens is that implants gradually assume their position.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD:
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

Your breast will look bigger than wanted for about week after the surgery. This is due to the tissue enlargement and muscle contraction (if the implant is placed under the muscle). Most of the swelling will resolve by 2-3 weeks, and it will completely go away by 4-6 weeks. I doubt you will remain a D cup when swelling has completely subsided.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS:
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after a breast implant surgery, known as edema, will remain at its spike for 2-4 weeks, and it will become milder by 6 months.

Gary Hall, MD:
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

I think that the biggest part of the swelling will go away by a month, yet a part of it remains for 3-4 months in some patients. Small-sized swollen parts may endure for some time, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. Don’t worry about your size, at least for a month more.

The different surgical techniques applied may also deliver different swellings. Don’t hesitate to consult your surgeon.

Clark Schierle, MD, PhD:

Your new breast will appear too large and too high for about 1-3 months. In this special condition, it is of significant importance how your body reacts to the surgery, the surgical technique applied and the implant size you chose.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD:
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Following a breast augmentation surgery, it is normal to expect a short-term swelling, depending on the type of surgery performed. After 6 weeks, it is time to buy a new bra to perk up your appearance. By that time, you should be able to have a good idea on your postoperative size.


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