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Painful breast implants can originate from a variety of underlying causes. It is important to understand that painful breast implants right after elective or reconstructive breast surgery may be a normal function of healing. In prolonged cases of painful breast implants, after the healing phase is over, a comprehensive examination by your physician or medical professional is advised.



Painful breast implants in breast augmentation procedures usually begins to end after the bruising and swelling period has resolved. Pain may be caused by the excessive swelling, aggravation to the tissues from surgery, or your body getting used to the new shape and feel of the implant. If you are experiencing uncomfortable or painful  breast implants after surgery, you may want to consider proper compression garments, sleeping more upright, ice packs, or Lymphatic Massage to speed the removal of swelling and decrease the pain right after surgery.

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Painful breast implants can also be experienced after the recovery phase if you are beginning to develop CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE (Also called Capsular Contraction). Capsular Contracture is when the normal shell that forms around the implant begins to harden, “contract”, and squeeze the implant. This may cause it to look like the shape and position has changed and feels harder than normal. Painful breast implants may be caused by Capsular Contracture, as the shell around the implant has nerves and blood vessels, which when abnormal contraction or “squeezing” occurs, send signals to the brain in the form of pain.

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Painful breast implants may also be a result of the change in biomechanics of the muscles and tissues around the implant area. Muscles that have been moved, pushed, or compressed to accommodate the new implant may show up in the form of painful breast implants. These tissues normally stretch and allow room for the new implant but sometimes cause pain during the “squeeze in” period.

Example: Those who experience pain to the shoulder, outside ribs, or on their back and shoulder blade may be an example of muscular shifts in biomechanics. This normally is a function of the new implant causing changes in the forces and angle of muscles or just general irritation over muscles like the serratus anterior which  causes your shoulder to move forward (protract) . This muscle attaches from the front of your ribs and curves around to your shoulder blade. The pain may be a “referred” pain and travels from the front to back. Some simple stretching and strengthening may resolve the pain experienced.

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This same phenomenon that can occur to muscles can occur to nerves as well. Nerves that have been irritated, compressed, or cut my produce changes in the area of surgery as well and appear as painful breast implants. If you experience sensory changes in the nipple, shooting electric like pains, decrease or increase in light touch sensation to the breast, or painful breast implants, you may have neurological changes occurring. Distal or peripheral nerves (Nerves that are not of the brain and spinal cord) do have the ability to recover and regenerate and may just need some time to recover. There is no guarantee though that sensation or nerve recovery will be 100%.

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If painful breast implants occur it is important to follow up with your medical doctor as certain medical conditions may present which are not directly implant related. Issues related to tumors, infection, bone or other cancers, and other medical maladies may produce pain in the area of the breast.

In cases where women who have undergone breast reconstruction with implants after Cancer and have had radiation therapy, breast implant pain may be painful due to radiations effect of skin hardness, scarring, and tightening around the implant site.

Routine follow ups and exams after breast augmentation are important as well to prevent future complications. 

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* The above information is for informative purposes only and stresses that information read is not for self diagnosis or as a substitute for seeking out proper medical advice. Should you experience any of the above, see a medical professional or physician for proper management and advice.

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