Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Armpit Pain After Breast Augmentation

Have you been experiencing impingement, or armpit pain after breast augmentation surgery? We’re here to help.

There are many reasons why your new breasts may be causing you discomfort. Here are a few common ones:

-Faulty positioning of the implants

-Too much skin removal during surgery, which can cause excess tissue in the armpit area

-Incorrect placement of one or both implants and/or nipple placement

-Excess scar tissue in the area surrounding one or both nipples

-An infection at either site where your incision was made

We’re here to help you make the right choice.

When it comes to breast augmentation, there are a lot of options out there. From size and shape, to technique and materials, there are a million ways to get your dream boobs. But what if one decision is better than another? What if one decision will cause you pain and discomfort?

That’s where we come in. Our team of experts has years of experience working with women who want their perfect breasts, and we’re here to help you make the best decision for you—no matter what it is!

In this article we will discuss can breast implants cause swollen lymph nodes in neck and signs of breast implant problems

Armpit Pain After Breast Augmentation

What Does It Mean When Your Breast Implant Hurts?


Pain is an expected side effect of having breast implants. The fact that the plastic surgeon performing the procedure needs to make cuts in your skin, however small and unnoticeable they may be, means it is likely to hurt around the area.

But what if your breast implants are hurting years after having your procedure? In this post, we’ll discuss potentially what it means when your breast implants hurt in both the short term and the long term.

what does it mean when my breast implants are hurting woman

Why Are My Breast Implants Hurting?
Your breast implants could be hurting for several reasons – and pain is more common than you think, affecting 38% of women who have breast augmentation – ranging from minor issues like strained muscles to more serious problems like suffering from capsular contracture.

As there are so many reasons why your breast implants may hurt, we will take a look at this in greater detail…

Alternatively, if you are worried and would like your implants checked now, contact us today and book your consultation with our plastic surgeons who will be happy to assess you.

Pain from the Incisions

It’s fair to say that breast augmentation surgery has come a long way and for the most part, breast implant procedures are generally only minimally invasive.

However, there still needs to be incisions made to give the surgeon enough space to insert your breast implants.

Therefore, following the procedure, the area where the incisions were made and the surrounding area are likely to be delicate and sore.

You should be able to combat that pain with over-the-counter medication. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe pain relief medication to help you recover.

The only reason you should be worried about this kind of pain is if it lasts for several weeks following surgery, if it is very severe or if there are any signs of infection around the incision site.

Irritation and Itchiness

As well as pain at and around the incision site, you may also feel itchiness or irritation. This is a normal side effect of the skin going through the natural healing process.

There is nothing to worry about if there are no signs of infection like pus or swelling.

If the level of irritation you are experiencing is unusually severe, you should speak to your doctor.

Strained Muscles

While it’s true that saline breast implants and silicone breast implants are lightweight, immediately following your breast augmentation surgery you are carrying an extra load on your chest.

This can strain some of your chest muscles. A more important issue is the fact that breast implants take up an increased amount of space around the area of your chest.

This is worth noting as it can cause musculoskeletal complications. If this is the case, the pain you experience will be more focused around and towards your nipple.

Necrosis

A more serious cause of breast implant pain is necrosis. Necrosis occurs when blood flow to the area is restricted, causing a lack of oxygen which can result in the death of breast tissue.

woman holding out removed breast implants due to pain

A key symptom to look out for that could indicate necrosis is a change in your skin colour around the area from blue, through to purple then black.

If you notice a change in the colour of the skin around your implant, you must get to your doctor as soon as possible to reduce the potential damage and long-term health risks.

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

If you are experiencing symptoms like rashes, seizures, or a sudden fever, it could be that you are suffering from Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

This bacterial infection is potentially life-threatening if it is left untreated. Therefore, you need to go and see your doctor if you think there may be a chance you are suffering from TSS.

Seroma

Serous fluid, a liquid that is secreted following breast implant surgery, can gather around the incision area.

If there is an excessive amount of serous fluid, it can develop into a lump that is known as a seroma.

This lump can be painful to touch and even have a burning sensation. You need to pay very close attention to how your wound heals and monitor any changes in skin texture that may indicate a seroma.

. If you suspect you have a seroma, you can speak to your plastic surgeon who will drain the lump to eliminate the breast pain you are experiencing.

Hematoma

You will know you have a hematoma if you have what looks like bruises, swelling and a feeling of tenderness.

This is caused by the blood from the site of the incisions pooling and clotting into nearby tissues.

This causes small lumps to develop. Your doctor will check for any abnormal lumps in and around your breasts after your breast implant procedure because it can indicate more serious conditions.

However, a lot of hematomas tend to disappear in time without requiring treatment.

Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Following your breast implant surgery, the lymph nodes present in your armpits may feel painful or experience swelling.

This can be caused by the incision site or breast tissue being infected. There is a chance that the lymph nodes were damaged during your breast implant surgery.

Capsular Contracture

If you think your breast implant pain is caused by an increase in the hardness of either one or both of the breasts, you may be suffering from capsular contracture.

Many women experience this post-breast surgery. Capsular contracture is a serious condition that is caused by breast scar tissue tightening around the implants and can happen at any time following breast augmentation surgery.

Wound Dehiscence

If you are already suffering from an infection around the incision site, it could increase how quickly dissolvable sutures break down.

When they disappear before your incision site is healed fully, either side of the wound will start to pull apart. This is referred to as wound dehiscence.

It is often caused by doing strenuous activities or lifting heavy objects too soon following surgery.

It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to have this treated and so you can avoid further complications.

Can Breast Implants Hurt Years Later?
In theory, breast implants can hurt at any point in time following surgery.

Immediate pain is often the result of the procedure itself and your body healing the skin that was cut and adjusting to the new addition to your body.

However, as time goes on, you could experience other complications and pain. Many of the most common are outlined above.

woman with painful breast augmentation

As with anything, if this pain seems abnormally severe or you suffer from any of the symptoms highlighted above, you should consult your surgeon.

Though it’s unlikely that your breast implants will need to be replaced for decades, it’s worth getting a check-up at least after every 10 years to ensure everything is still okay with your implants.

Given its impact and the seriousness of capsular contractures, we have written about the symptoms in more detail to highlight them.

How do you know if something is wrong with your breast implants?

Generally speaking, if you notice any minor or major noticeable difference in your breast implants and the area around the incision site, it could be a cause for concern.

Particularly burning sensations, swelling that does not reduce, redness on the skin around your breasts are signs that something is wrong.

What are the early signs of capsular contracture?

As mentioned above, one of the common reasons why you could be feeling pain in and around your breasts is capsular contracture.

Although this is wrongly attributed as an allergic reaction to a foreign body inside you in the form of your implants, it does have similar effects.

How do you know if it is a capsular contracture that is causing your pain?

Although they can form very quickly, there is still a gradual process leading up to the full development of capsular contractures.

The thing that makes it difficult is that the majority of women, possibly like yourself, fail to notice those small and slight changes that happen every day to their breasts until they accumulate into noticeable changes or there is pain or discomfort beyond what is normal and won’t go away.

Aside from the pain and general discomfort, the most noticeable symptoms and signs of capsular contracture are:

Breasts look smaller than normal – capsular contracture effectively squeezes your breast implants and will make them look smaller in appearance. It could be that the pressure caused by the contracture is even enough to rupture your implant.
Breasts look ball-shaped or otherwise distorted – The tightening of the scar tissue that forms around your implant can cause it to deform. It is a good idea, therefore, to carefully look regularly at your breasts for any signs of irregularities in the breast shape and the form if you have had breast implants.
Breasts are much higher up – Thanks to how contractures work and the tightening you can experience around the protective capsule, it can often shift your breast implants from their original position and force them to move upwards. Therefore, if you think your breasts have moved and are significantly higher than usual, it’s best not to take any chances and get it checked out by your surgeon as soon as possible.
Hardened breasts – This is perhaps the most recognisable and common symptom of capsular contracture. If your breasts feel firmer or harder than they normally do, with no other cause or reason, it is most likely you are suffering from capsular contracture.
If you are suffering from capsular contracture, you will likely need to have a procedure to rectify the issue.

If you are worried and want your implants checked now, contact us today and book your consultation with our plastic surgeons who will be happy to assess you.

Important note: If your breast implants are hurting, accompanied by lumpiness around your breast or armpit area, then see your doctor immediately to rule out anything serious.

Posted in Breast Augmentation, Breast Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery

Risks and complications with breast implants
Complications are unfavourable evolutions or consequences of a disease, a health condition, a therapy or a procedure. The goal of surgery is to have as few complications as possible and the surgeon will try to minimize them, however, breast reconstruction is associated with risks and complications. We have compiled a list of the most common complications, with an explanation and, where appropriate, with recommendations.

Capsular contracture or capsular fibrosis: When any foreign body is placed inside an organism, the physiological reactions include metabolisation, expulsion or isolation. In the latter case, a capsule is formed around the foreign body, which is what happens with breast implants in the human body. This capsule can tighten around the implant and contract. The contraction deforms the implant shape and thus the shape of the breast. Additionally, the capsule can become very hard and cause pain. This complication is referred to as “capsular contracture” and its occurrence rates vary according to implant surface. A significant capsular contracture will result in implant removal (see also “Breast Implant Types”)
Seromas: Seromas develop as an accumulation of serous fluid around the implant, which can lead to pain and excessive swelling of the breast(s). Several reasons can cause seromas: intraoperative or postoperative traumatization, excessive postoperative mobility of the implant or infection. Possible treatments: compression, drainage or implant removal, if necessary. Seromas may develop early, immediately after surgery, or late, occurring several months after surgery. See the section on Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma.
Pain: Pain may occur in the operated area as well as in the chest muscle, shoulder or arm after breast surgery. Continuous pain may be due to improperly sized or placed implants. Over-sized implants, capsular contracture as well as irritations due to excessive implant movement, may provoke pain. Please consult your surgeon immediately to clarify the cause of pain following an operation.
Reddening of the skin or “rash”: This complication can be observed a low percentage of patients. This reddening of the skin should not be confused with an infection. It differs from an infection by itching and the absence of systemic infection symptoms. It usually occurs 7 to 10 days after the implantation and can last 2 to 3 weeks. The use of steroids may be necessary.
Chest wall deformity: The rib cage may be deformed due to the pressure exerted by the implant.
Calcification: Benign calcification around the implant is possible.
Infections: Infections may present with fever and/or inflammation. Infections in connection with breast implants are very rare: 0.114%.1 Infections with unclear aetiology that occur after breast implantation surgery should be treated immediately. The use of antibiotics, drainage or implant removal may be necessary. Not all infections can be treated while the implant remains in the body. The “toxic shock” syndrome has been reported in extremely rare cases in connection with breast implants.
Inflammation or irritation: Reactions of the body to an infection or injury showing as redness, swelling, pain.
Implant rupture: Failure of the integrity of the implant shell. Implant damage (intraoperatively, e.g. by too short incisions, by surgical instruments, or postoperatively, e.g. in case of punctures, biopsies etc.), trauma or material fatigue are, in our opinion, the most frequent reasons. After rupture of a gel-filled implant, the consistency of the silicone gel prevents diffusion. However, it is not guaranteed that the gel remains a complete entity. Ruptures may be noticeable (symptomatic ruptures) or not (silent ruptures). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most effective method for detecting silent rupture of silicone gel-filled breast implants. If a rupture is diagnosed the implant should be replaced.
Permeation of silicone: All modern breast implants are equipped with special barrier layers to prevent the diffusion of silicone particles through the shell. While the passage of low molecular weight silicone components through the shell of the implant cannot be completely excluded, the small amounts of gel remain within the tissue capsule that physiologically grows around the implant.2
Granuloma: Granulomas are localized nodular inflammations, which may result from an implant rupture or from silicone permeation. Granulomas of an unknown origin may require a biopsy or implant removal.
Swelling of the axillary lymph nodes: Lymph nodes are small structures located all over the body around blood vessels. They are part of the lymphatic system of the body. They can swell and become tender or painful in cases of a local infection, an infection affecting the whole body, cancer or immune disorders. Axillary lymph nodes are the lymph nodes located in the armpit and which drain the breast area of fluid. Some patients with breast implants have been found to have enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit. This is referred to as lymphadenopathy. It has been reported to occur in women with both ruptured and intact silicone gel breast implants. If an enlarged lymph node becomes painful, it may need to be surgically removed. You should immediately report any painful or enlarged lymph nodes to your doctor.

Breast cancer
The extensive studies available show that women with breast implants are not subject to a higher risk of breast cancer than women without breast implants.3 In other words, a breast implant has no influence on the occurrence of breast cancer. While scientists do discuss the theoretical risks of this disease with implants, breast cancer as a direct result of breast implants has not been observed in humans.

It is important that you undergo all the usual breast examinations, such as self-examination and possible imaging procedures (mammary sonography, tomosynthesis, mammogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) to detect possible breast cancer. Modern imaging techniques such as sonography, MRI or computer tomography (CT) help to find tumours at an early stage.4

Make sure to self-examine your breasts at regular intervals. For post-operative self-examination, your surgeon should instruct you on how to distinguish between the implant and your own tissue to enable you to detect nodules yourself. Do not just touch your breasts; also look for swelling, redness and inflammation, as well as any breast deformities, even if these are not painful. If you find any changes, please consult a surgeon.

BIA-ALCL
Reports from regulatory agencies and medical literature have shown an association between breast implants and the development of ALCL, resulting in the term BIA-ALCL or Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. This means that women with breast implants may have a small increased risk in developing ALCL. There are several different estimates of the risk of developing BIA-ALCL.

The vast majority of cases in literature concern patients with history of use of textured implants.

ALCL is currently classified as a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) – a cancer of the immune system. It typically presents as a late seroma – the accumulation of liquid within the capsule –but it may also occur with the formation of a mass. The symptoms may occur well after the surgical incision has healed, often years after implant placement, but there are known cases with a shorter time of occurrence.

ALCL is a rare but serious type of cancer. There are documented cases of death due to the spreading of the disease out of the capsule. When detected early and timely treated, this disease has a positive prognosis.

In most patients, it is treated successfully with surgery to remove the implant and surrounding scar tissue, but for some patients chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be necessary.

It is very important that you continue to attend regular check-ups and perform self-examination. If symptoms such as swelling, pain or a lump in the implant region occur, you should immediately inform your doctor.

If you have breast implants and have no symptoms, you do not need to do anything, but you should continue to routinely monitor your breast implants and follow your routine medical care. Removing the implants is not recommended in women with no symptoms without a confirmed diagnosis of BIA-ALCL.

Can Breast Implants Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes In Neck

This condition is known as lymphadenopathy. Women with silicone gel breast implants that are intact or that have ruptured have both reported experiencing it. An enlarged lymph node may require surgical removal if it becomes uncomfortable. Any painful or swollen lymph nodes need to be reported right once to your doctor.

Signs Of Breast Implant Problems

A group of symptoms known as breast implant illness (BII) affect people who have breast implants. For BII, there is no recognized medical diagnosis. Fatigue, joint pain, mental fog, dry eyes, and numerous other health issues are possible symptoms. In order to diagnose BII, medical professionals must rule out other medical problems.

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