Breast Augmentation Side Effects

For most women, knowing the breast augmentation procedure’s side effects before undergoing treatment makes patients better equipped to handle over the recovery process. Keep in mind that patients are not likely to encounter all of these side effects, and none of them are likely to be severe.


Swelling is a common side effect of any procedure. Blood and fluids travel to the treatment area to help with the healing process; this inflammatory response is not a bad thing, though it may cause discomfort during the initial recovery phase. Most doctors provide a post-surgery bra, which reduces swelling and alleviates some of the strain of the new breasts to help them heal faster. Swelling may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, as the tissues and muscles become accustomed to the implants. An ice compress can be used on the treatment area to minimize swelling; Icing is most effective in the first 48 hours after surgery. Heat should not be applied in the first couple of days after surgery, as heat will exacerbate swelling.


Bruising is another common side effect of surgery. Bruising is simply a pooling of blood where tissue has been damaged. Like swelling, bruising will fade on its own, once the tissues around the implant have had time to settle and accommodate the new fullness. Rest, ice, and the herb arnica Montana can speed the healing of a bruise.


Your doctor has probably prescribed you some pain killers for the tightness and soreness that is common after surgery. If you are still experiencing significant pain after your medication has run out, appropriately using an over the counter pill is a great way to mitigate this. Acetaminophen is recommended, while aspirin and ibuprofen, which have blood thinning properties, should be avoided.


Some breast implants take months to settle in the pocket. How long it takes depends entirely on your body and the size and type of implant. Skin and muscles all have to stretch to allow the implant to settle into place, and this can take some time. To speed up the process, you can get a breast wrap from your doctor, which will help settle the implants into place.

Change in Sensation

Complete loss of sensation after a breast augmentation is extremely rare, but some women do experience a reduction in sensitivity after the surgery. Again, the only real remedy for this is time, as it takes time for the nerves to adjust to the new size of the breasts.


Itching is another common side effect, and rarely indicates anything dangerous. A gentle, hydrating, soothing cream can be used on the itchy areas, as long as you avoid the actual area of incision. If you have concerns about a product, as your doctor for a recommendation. Itching indicates irritation in the tissue, which is common after this kind of surgery. Keeping the area properly moisturized can also prevent the formation of stretch marks.

Contact Dr. John R. Griffin to schedule a breast augmentation consultation.

September 30, 2014 | TOPICS: Cosmetic Surgery, Breast