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Breast implants

(continued)

Recovery after breast implantation

Right after the operation, you will experience some swelling, pain and bruising. Your chest may feel tight and your breathing may feel restricted. This is normal and your symptoms will start to improve over the next few weeks. You will usually rest at the hospital or clinic in a semi-upright position to help keep you comfortable and minimise any swelling. You will be given painkillers if you need them. After returning home, you can continue to take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

You'll need to take it easy for a few days after your breast augmentation surgery and avoid excess activity and heavy lifting for up to six weeks. You may need to wear a surgical bra as you heal.

Following surgery, your breasts may feel hard and you may experience some painful twinges or general discomfort. These symptoms will sometimes persist for a few weeks. It is recommended that you take around two weeks off work after the operation to fully recover.

There will probably be some swelling in the area where the surgery was done. It should subside over time and the scars will slowly fade.

Possible complications of breast augmentation surgery

Although it is a cosmetic procedure, breast implant surgery can have risks. Contact your GP or surgeon immediately if you have any symptoms you were not expecting or if you experience severe pain. Possible warning signs include:

  • Severe pain in your breast(s)
  • An intense burning sensation in your breast(s)
  • Unusual, unexpected or excessive swelling in or around your breast(s)
  • Deflated breast(s)
  • A smelly or coloured discharge from your wounds
  • A high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or more
  • Any lumps or aching that are causing you concern

It is also possible for implants to rupture and leak. If saline implants rupture, the saline will be safely absorbed by the body. A silicone leak may stay inside the implant shell or leak outside of the shell. You will be aware when a saline implant ruptures because it will deflate, but silicone breast implants may cause no obvious symptoms when they rupture. This is called silent rupture.

Having breast implants can make it more difficult to get screened with a mammogram, but special X-ray views can be done to better examine the area. However, research indicates breast implants do not increase your risk of breast cancer. Breast implants may make it harder for you to breastfeed.

Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. You may need to have the implants replaced if there are complications, or if the size and shape of your breasts change over time.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on April 19, 2016

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