Managing Breast Implant Surgery Pain Levels

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It’s normal to feel some discomfort after a breast implant procedure, but If you’re feeling pain and worried that it might be serious, this guide will help you find out if said pain is cause for concern.

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Pain During the Recovery Phase

Days 1-3 After Surgery:

  • Immediate postoperative period may involve acute pain.
  • Pain often starts high and gradually lessens.

Days 4-14 Post-Surgery:

  • Transition from acute to moderate pain.
  • A noticeable decrease in pain intensity.

Weeks 2-6 Post-Surgery:

  • Mild to minimal pain.
  • Occasional twinges or discomfort may persist.

Activities and Pain Thresholds

  • Activities like raising your arms or driving may increase pain levels during the initial recovery phase.
  • You should slowly reintroduce activities as your pain threshold allows.
  • If an activity causes pain, take it as a sign to scale back.

Pain Relief Techniques

  • Apply cold compressions to reduce swelling and dull pain sensations.
  • Wear loose clothing that does not press against incision sites.
    Get enough sleep.
  • You have to skip your exercise regimen during this period.

Pain Intensity Levels After a Breast Implant

Mild Pain

  • Soreness around the surgery site
  • Minor swelling and bruising

Moderate Pain Indicators

  • Your pain may be more persistent and require medication. Look out for:
  • Persistent aching in your chest area
  • Increased tenderness when moving

Severe Pain

  • Call your surgeon if the pain is too much and persists for a day.
  • Sharp, stabbing pains that do not subside
  • Pain that escalates rather than diminishes over time

Factors Influencing Pain Levels

Individual Pain Tolerance

Genetic factors, previous pain experiences, and psychological state all contribute to how you will experience pain post-operatively.

Type and Size of Implants

The type and size of the implants you choose can affect post-surgery pain levels. Larger implants or those with a textured surface, may result in more strain. The type of implant can also affect how you deal with the pain (silicone or saline).

Variations in Surgery

Submuscular placement (under the muscle) may cause more pain initially compared to subglandular placement (over the muscle) due to muscle stretching.

Complications That Can Affect Pain Levels


  • Chills or body temperature that exceeds 100.4°F, can be signs of an infection.
  • Persistent or worsening redness and swelling around the incision sites can be signs of infection.
  • Any unusual discharge, especially if it’s yellow, green, or foul-smelling.

Implant Rejection

  • Breast shape changes or asymmetry develops.
  • The development of firmness around the implant, also known as capsular contracture, can indicate your body’s resistance to the implant.

Nerve Damage and Pain Persistence

  • Reduced sensation or heightened sensitivity around the nipples or breast skin, suggesting nerve impact.
  • Persistent pain beyond the normal healing period, typically several weeks, may be a result of nerve damage.

Managing Your Implant Long-Term

Pain Management

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers (ibuprofen or acetaminophen) can help with discomfort. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medication.
  • Gentle exercises and physical therapy can help maintain mobility and reduce pain.
  • Acupuncture, massage, and other complementary therapies can also support pain relief. Discuss all potential treatments with your doctor to confirm if such therapies are safe during your breast implant recovery.

Regular Check-Ups

Regular follow-ups with your surgeon will help you monitor for any complications that could contribute to long-term pain.

During these appointments, expect to discuss:

  • Implant position and condition
  • Signs of any potential complications
  • Your overall comfort and satisfaction with the results

    Breast implants is one of the procedures we offer at the Sadeghi Center for Plastic Surgery. Talk to us by calling 504-217-7972.