What Causes Breast Pain after Implant Procedures and How To Prevent It

Any type of implant pain may be an indicator of something malfunctioning with your breast implants. Safe and effective solutions can be found and administered, but you should not hesitate to make an appointment with your certified New York plastic surgeon for treatment.

Following breast augmentation surgery, you might experience some side effects such as tiredness and soreness for a few days after your surgery. There may also be a burning sensation in your nipples for a couple of weeks, but this typically subsides along with bruising. Another post-surgical side effect might also be sharp shooting pains in the breast.

Depending on what type of breast implant or augmentation surgery you have, the side effects like those above and other procedure related pain may be experienced differently. That’s why it’s important to understand whether the pain you’re experiencing is a normal side effect or an abnormal experience that needs to be addressed by scheduling an appointment with your New York plastic surgeon.

There are more common causes of breast implant pain that can occur, which is why it’s important to know the difference between normal and abnormal pain outside the normal scope of surgical healing. Of the different types of implants available, they all come with a variety of risks. So be sure to research what type of implant you’re getting and know the possible side effects and complications that could occur.

The Difference Between Silicone Gel & Saline Solution Implants

Silicone implants have less of a tendency to wrinkle than the saline implants. Polyurethane-coated implants are claimed to have less of a risk of rotation or developing scar tissue that can affect the shape of the implant but can also cause a temporary skin reaction. The risk in soft gel silicone implants is rupturing, which can cause the silicone to spread into the breast resulting in silicone granulomas. If this occurs, the implant must be removed.

Saline solution implants contain a salt-water based saline solution. If a rupture should occur, the solution can be safely absorbed or ejected by the body. As saline solution leaks out of its shell, detection if the implant has ruptured is easier, and the appearance of the breast will look smaller than the opposite one. Their main drawback is that they’re less firm than silicone implants and are thought to be more likely incur wrinkling or folding.

No matter the type of implant you get, though, below are some of the causes of breast implant pain and the measures you’d need to take to avoid it, from those more common issues to those that are more serious and may require immediate attention.

Wound Irritation and Itching

As the wound from a breast procedure proceeds through the stages of healing, it may feel irritated and itchy. These sensations are normal, but if other signs of infection appear, such as swelling or pus, contact your plastic surgeon right away if your incisions are producing any unusual degree of irritation.

Pain from Incisions

Incision sites may become sore or painful following your breast augmentation procedure. Even though undergoing breast implant surgery is considered minimally invasive, your plastic surgeon still needs to make an incision in the breast to insert the implants into your body. In some cases, over-the-counter painkillers will offer some relief, but you may also receive a stronger prescribed medication to help your recovery. You should visit your plastic surgeon if the pain from your implants is exceptionally severe, and if it lasts longer than a few weeks, or signs of infection appear.

Breast Hematoma

A bruise-like appearance around the area of your incision spots which can include tenderness and swelling are generally classic symptoms of hematomas. Blood from the incision sites can pool and clot in tissues that are nearby and that creates a small lump. Any unusual lumps in your breasts should be checked by your surgeon to rule out a more serious condition. Most hematomas will dissipate without treatment, but if there are concerns about the size, severity or length of time the hematoma has been there, your surgeon can either drain the blood or remove it surgically.

Capsular Contracture

The pain of your breast implants could be associated with an increased hardness in one or both breasts. In some women, capsular contracture is a condition experienced caused by the breast tissue tightening around the implants. The condition can occur at any time following your surgery. So notify your plastic surgeon as soon as possible if you experience any change resulting in this type of pain so that any necessary steps to reduce your pain can be taken.

Lymph Node Enlargement

Enlarged Lymph Nodes in your armpits can swell up or feel painful for a few reasons. An infection at the point of the incision or within your breast tissue can be the cause of this condition. Lymph nodes can also get damaged during the procedure and grow in size because of a possible infection, or even because of the healing process. The best way to make sure there are no serious problems so that you don’t lose valuable healing time is to consult with your plastic surgeon.


Near the incision of the breast implants, a body liquid called serum can accumulate. If there’s too much build up of the serum, it can create a lump that’s called a seroma. You may feel some burning or general breast implant pain at the touch. You should monitor the healing of the wound when you suspect that there’s liquid accumulating within the breast tissue, and the serum leaking out of the incision should be clear. The serum fluid might take a couple of weeks to accumulate, but your New York plastic surgeon can have the seroma drained to rid you of the pain.

Implant Rupture

If there are changes in the appearance of your breasts, burning sensations, or pain, these can be signs that your implant may have ruptured. The pain you’re experiencing is typically associated with silicone implants, but sudden size changes in the breast are more common with saline. The problem can occur immediately following your procedure, or even a number of years away. Having medical tests that involve the breasts like mammograms, can cause tears or holes to form in the outer breast tissue material. In some cases, when implants are older they can simply fail over time.

Wound Dehiscence

The dissolvable sutures in incisions break down naturally during the healing process, but if incisions become infected, the rate of break down can speed up. This can spell trouble if they dissolve before full healing takes place because the sides of the wound can pull apart from each other. This is called wound dehiscence. The condition can also occur if you engage in strenuous activity or the lifting of heavy objects too soon after your breast surgery. If this should occur in your incision wound, you need to get to your plastic surgeon immediately for proper care to avoid any further complications.

Toxic Shock Syndrome

Some of the symptoms associated with toxic shock syndrome are a sudden fever, seizures, and rashes. It’s a bacterial infection that poses a serious complication, and will need your plastic surgeon’s attention immediately. Without treatment it can be fatal, and in most cases you’ll need to stay in the hospital for continued monitoring and support until the infection clears up.


When tissue doesn’t get the oxygen it needs, it can die. Sometimes during surgery, blood supply to certain areas can be altered or damaged. The effect on the skin is a spectrum of colors that range from blue, purple, and finally black, at which point the wound starts to reopen. This breast implant complication is called necrosis, and it’s a painful and serious condition. You should see your plastic surgeon as quickly as possible should this complication arise for treatment to limit any further damage or risks to your health. Among other things, necrosis can be brought on by smoking, as there is already less oxygen circulating through your bloodstream so refrain from it before, during, and after your procedure. Right after your surgery, while your incision is healing is when you’re at the greatest risk for this condition to appear.

The Good News

Most breast implant surgeries go smoothly, with slimmer chances given the techniques used today that something could go wrong during the procedure or in the months and years following it for as long the implants remain in the body.

If you’re coming to Aristocrat Plastic Surgery & MedAesthetics to achieve the breasts of your dreams, you can be assured of a successful experience under the capable care of Dr. Kevin Tehrani and our premier clinical staff. Nominated by peers and colleagues as one of the Top 10 Plastic Surgeons in New York by both and the America Top 10 website, Dr. Tehrani will help you reach your true beauty potential.

Our breast procedures extend well beyond breast lift and breast augmentation procedures, and all are performed in Dr. Tehrani’s fully equipped and certified Operating Room in Great Neck, Long Island, and Manhattan, New York. Come in for a personalized consultation and help us to define your goals for your breasts. No matter what you’re hoping to have done, Dr. Tehrani will help you achieve your most beautiful self at any age.

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