“I feel itchy and stinging in the area,” “I notice a swollen chest,” “My breasts hurt after surgery” … Are these symptoms normal? These are some of the most frequent questions that patients ask us after a breast augmentation surgery. Despite the fact that breast augmentation as well as a breast lift continues to be one of the most demanded cosmetic surgery operations, it seems that much more information is necessary about what are the most common symptoms, sensations, and normal processes that our body may experience after this intervention. As in most surgical operations, after undergoing breast augmentation surgery or a breast lift, your body may respond with a series of symptoms typical of the postoperative process.

These symptoms are usually common and frequent, although they do not always occur, and not all patients are aware of them, so they can generate restlessness. These symptoms vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the implant or its placement. It must be taken into account that the postoperative period will last between two and three weeks until the person can return to their daily life. But this does not mean that all symptoms will pass within that period.

This article will provide you with information regarding the usual symptoms after a breast augmentation. This will ensure you do not have unnecessary worries and can identify and distinguish these signs if you suffer from them.

Symptoms after a breast augmentation


After undergoing breast surgery, it is logical that it hurts, and even more when moving the arms. However, this pain can vary according to the magnitude of the implant or its placement, or even depending on each person’s type of skin, taking its elasticity as an example. This discomfort will normally appear in our body’s sternal and lateral areas and will gradually subside as the days go by.

Subcutaneous emphysema. 

It usually appears due to the entry of air during surgery, producing crepitus under the skin, which often worries patients. It is a normal symptom and will ease spontaneously without the need for additional care.


It is normal for the tissues to become inflamed due to fluid retention after the intervention. They usually appear in areas such as the neckline or the upper pole of the breast. The abdomen and arms are areas that can easily become inflamed due to the immobility of the area.

Many patients usually have the sensation of high implant placement at the beginning. This symptom is due to inflammation. The first postoperative days will not be possible to distinguish the breasts’ real appearance due to the swelling generated. But, as the recovery progresses, both the appearance and the results will improve.

Muscle contracture. 

Sometimes contractions appear in the pectoral muscle because it has been disinserted to accommodate the breast implant. This contracture usually disappears in a few weeks, and occasionally, if the implant is displaced superiorly, we will need help with massages for its repositioning.

Flattening in the lower area and bulging in the upper area. 

This symptom can appear in those patients with skins that have little elasticity or in tuberous breasts, because the lower pole of the breast affects the less extensible thoracic skin. Little by little and progressively, the skin will adapt to its new position and will be corrected.


It is normal for bruises to appear, especially in the sternal and inferolateral areas. They will disappear little by little on their own or with creams that help their elimination.

Feeling cold or heat. 

Due to temporary changes in sensitivity, you may feel a sensation of cold or heat on the skin of the chest, being a very common symptom.

Lack of sensitivity. 

After surgery, it is normal to have sensitive alterations. In this case, the skin of the breast that has been stretched when placing the implant can be partially and temporarily anesthetized, especially in the lower area. However, the areola and nipple may experience cramps, pricking, and other symptoms commonly related to hypersensitivity, while the nerves in the area heal.


Due to the inflammation caused by breast enlargement, the tissues may also appear thickened, and therefore, we will perceive them to the touch more harshly. Also, there will be an implant in that same space, which is sometimes large and stretches the area giving it more firmness.


All surgical intervention involves a healing process, which can sometimes cause discomfort.

Liquid sensation. 

It is usual that during the recovery from a breast augmentation procedure, there is a sensation of fluid around the implant. This can happen from the accumulation of lymphatic fluid or blood after surgery, or even from inflammation of the tissues. It is advisable to rest and wait, since, over time, this tissue will heal, forming the periprosthetic capsule that will cause the existing liquid to be reabsorbed.

It is important that we bear in mind that the breasts are not exactly the same, and therefore, the symptoms of recovery from an operation will not be either. In this way, it is common for one breast to hurt more than the other; or that we experience greater sensitivity on one side than the other. We can even have a more swollen chest. This symptom will gradually disappear.