Breast Pain Following Plastic Surgery

Breast pain following plastic surgery is frequent and normal because the tissue needs to re-adapt and continue the healing process. What can you do about it? We'll tell you in the following article.
Breast Pain Following Plastic Surgery
Leonardo Biolatto

Written and verified by the doctor Leonardo Biolatto.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

In recent years, breast surgery has become one of the most commonly performed plastic surgeries. However, we’re not only talking about breast augmentations, but also reductions, the reparation of malformations, and even retouching the shape of the nipple.

Approximately 1 in every 400 women has breast implants. This is a very high number that demonstrates that many women may have questions about this type of procedure. Therefore, in this article, we’ll talk about breast pain following plastic surgery.

Why do people experience breast pain following plastic surgery?

A woman performing a breast exam.
The breast area is full of nerve endings that increase sensitivity. Therefore, chest pain following plastic surgery is normal in most cases.

Naturally, this pain will depend on the exact intervention that a person undergoes. In order to understand why pain occurs, we’ll use the example of breast augmentation. This is an operation that takes place under general anesthesia and that usually takes about two hours.

Breast augmentation involves two incisions under the breast. However, the latest techniques allow surgeons to cut along the contour of the nipple or along the underarm. What people need to understand is that all of these areas contain sensitive nerves.

In order to insert breast implants, surgeons must make room below the mammary gland – sort of like a pocket. They do so by cutting all of the previous tissue. Most prosthetics are implanted below the pectoral muscle. This is somewhat more aggressive, but it allows women to breastfeed later.

Whatever the case, as we’ve mentioned, this entire area is full of nerves. The incisions can alter the nerve endings that transmit sensibility. Therefore, it’s normal for breast sensitivity to change after the operation.

Breast pain following plastic surgery

As we said, during the weeks after the intervention, individuals may experience an alteration in breast sensitivity. However, most women regain normal sensitivity with time as nerves regenerate easily.

Despite this, it’s common for women to suffer breast pain following plastic surgery, as well as cramps or prickling. What’s more, you should keep in mind that the skin needs to stretch in order to mold to the shape of the implant. The muscles and tissue must heal, so it’s normal to experience pain.

Many women explain that, after breast augmentation, they have a hard time performing daily tasks. For example, it may occur while getting dressed or doing their hair, especially if the implant was inserted below the muscle. However, others say that the pain is bearable.

What to do for the pain

A woman taking painkillers.
In some cases, the surgeon may suggest taking painkillers to calm breast pain following plastic surgery.

We should emphasize that breast pain following plastic surgery is something physiological and natural during the readaptation of tissue. What’s more, the incisions and stitches must heal correctly. As you can imagine, this process takes time.

However, if the breast pain lasts for a long time, then you should see your doctor. Perhaps some complications occurred during the operation. Whatever the case, plastic surgeons usually recommend periodic controls after interventions.

In order to improve the recovery process, there are simple measures that you can implement. The first is to rest as much as your doctor recommends. Generally, you should avoid any exertion as well as intense sports. In fact, doctors warn against doing any upper body training for at least a month after surgery.

What’s more, it’s best to sleep face up and avoid any pressure on the area. You shouldn’t massage the breasts or even push on them. Similarly, you should wear a special bra in order to provide the right support.

In some cases, especially after the interventions, it’s often a good idea to take painkillers for breast pain. Whatever the case, you should discuss any questions you have with your surgeon.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.