How long for swelling to go down?

Hello All,

I had my mx+LD recon with silicone/saline implant & full node clearance on Friday last week.

I was just wondering if anyone else who has had this could tell me their experience of recovery.

I still have one drain (which I think is part of the reason I’m fed up) and although not in terrible pain it’s constant. My new boob (Babs) is quite a bit bigger to compensate for shrinkage with rads and so under my arm is getting a bit sore from the rubbing. Standing up is probably the most comfy but obviously I’m not doing much of that!

Any top tips to ease/speed up recovery?
How long before the swelling became less?
Any ways you made yourself comfortable?

I know I’m being impatient but the constant uncomfortableness is starting to wear me down, even with full whack of painkillers.




I had MX to left breast and immediate LD flap +implant (silcon/saline) recon on the 26th Jan.

My plastic surgeon (who took over once the BC surgeon had done the MX and lymph node removal) has done a great job of matching my ‘new’ boob to the old one - even down to the right level of ‘droop’!

I was lucky and had hardly any pain post surgery - didn’t need morphine pump. Had op late Fri, out of bed just standing on Sat and walking the corridor on Sun. A week in hosp - they didn’t let me go til all drains removed. I did carry on using anti-inflamatories + paracetamol for a couple of weeks, particularly at night to help sleep and first thing in the morning to help get me going.

I found that it did take it out of me - try to be patient and take it really easy for the first few days - I read, watched TV and did my exercises! Realised how much it had taken out of me when I tried to hang out some washing for my sis!

Did get a seroma on back that needed draining a few times, but that resolved itself quite quickly. I was driving and back at work (part time for a couple of weeks at first) 6 weeks post op.

Five months post surgery and the new boob is really starting to feel like it belongs to me - obviously don’t have the level of feeling and it still feels a bit firmer and heavier than the other one, but improving all the time. The PS warned that it does take a long time to completely settle down. It’s a bit bigger than the other one but this may still alter and I have a port in the implant so it can be adjusted at a later date if needed. It’s a bit perkier (they are now nicknamed Pinky and Perky) than the other, but all of this is totally unnoticeable in bra and clothes - as is the slight bulkiness under my arm from 15 nodes removed (all clear, whew!) and where the muscle was put through. That felt enormous for weeks, but again is starting to feel more natural and is unnoticeable to everyone else.

My scars around nipple area and on back are improving all the time ( I do use Bio Oil). I can see that the nipple area scar will be difficult to spot in a year or two. The scar on my back is bigger and more ‘serious’, but still improving and is covered by my bra strap.Still in a sports bra 24/7, but I think that mainly cos I’ve got used to it and find it v comfy compared to my previous underwired lace numbers!

My shoulder and under my arm still feel a bit stiff and tight, but I have virtually full range of movement and am back gardening and horse riding - albeit carefully! Make sure you get and do the exercises!

I’m 5/6 way through chemo and that does make the recon feel worse at times, but I’m assured that this is temporary. I’ve found out that they are also now recommending rads. This was a calculated risk I took - my plastic surgeon said that even if get capsulation round the implant and, worse case, down the line I need the capsulation removed and a new implant, the final cosmetic result will still be better than a delayed recon. Don’t know if this is a daft thought, but hoping that if the capsulation isn’t too bad, he can just let down the saline a bit to relieve the pressure?

Good luck and take care!


Thanks DJ007

Bump x

I just posted elsewhere because I’m also experiencing a bit of pain and quite a lot of discomfort around the implant. I had an MX with just the implant (silicon and saline). I had my MX on the 19th July. Today has been particularly bad, and I took off my bra which I was told I should wear day and night - and feel much better - I think it was causing the area under my armpit to swell more, so making it tighter, so making it swell more etc…

How long was it before the swelling went down? I wasn’t prepared for this! I’m still taking 8 paracetemol a day and the odd Neurofen. Was there anything you did that helped?