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Plastic Surgery/Breast reduction 4 month post op pain


Hi Dr. Engler,
I had breast reduction surgery four months ago.  My healing has been fantastic, not much pain and after two weeks, no pain at all.  However, I just started having a great deal of pain in the last week or so.  Shooting pains (which I knew were normal) but also pain on the surface of the skin as well as deep tissue pain. The pain is above the scar line. Barely brushing the skin is quite painful, but the deep tissue pain feels like nerve pain since when the breasts are pressed on, there is no pain.  I did see my plastic surgeon, who said it's most likely aggravated nerves but I would like to get an idea of how long this can be expected to last and if there's anything at all I can do to alleviate the pain, whether it's topical or taken internally.  Ibuprofen doesn't do anything. Thank you so much for your time and assistance helping patients!!  Michele

from Dr. Alan Engler

Hi Michele,

It's common to have sensations like this that come and go but I haven't seen it to this degree at this (relatively) late stage.  I don't think there's much you can do about it and I agree that it's a vague, general irritation of the superficial, cutaneous nerves...but I would at least consider an assessment from someone in physical therapy.  Perhaps some deep tissue massage or ultrasound would help minimize the symptoms.

However, I can't address your question more specifically.  If this continues, you may want to also consider a second opinion from someone who can see you in person.

I wish I could be more helpful,

Dr. E

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Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS


Dr. Engler has answered over 6400 questions on social media sites, including over 3500 on AllExperts alone. His expertise includes breast surgery (breast enlargement with implants, breast reduction, breast lifts), liposuction, eyelid surgery, tummy tucks, facelifts, lipomas, skin cancers, cysts, etc. Dr. Engler has been listed as one New York`s Top Doctors, and as "One of the World's Most Famous Aesthetic Surgeons" (Aesthetic Surgery, TASCHEN Books, Angelika Taschen, Editor). He is the author of 4 books, including "BodySculpture" (a best-selling plastic surgery book on breast surgery, liposuction and tummy tucks), "EyeScapes" (Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids), "Restylane," and "The Slim Book of Liposuction." Dr. Engler has two US Patents for surgical instruments that he's designed, and has appeared on numerous television shows, including The Tyra Banks Show, The Ricki Lake Show (four times), the Dr. Keith Ablow Show and Jerseylicious. Videos of his appearances are available on YouTube (search for "DR. ENGLER"), and his discussion of breast implants, also on YouTube is "How to Choose a Breast Implant." His website is Follow Dr. Engler: @AlanEnglerMD


Dr. Alan Engler is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York and the author of BodySculpture - Plastic Surgery of the Body for Men and Women (ISBN 0966382749) one of the top-selling plastic surgery books on,, as well as EyeScapes - Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids.

Dr. Engler graduated from Yale University (BA, Russian Studies) and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (MD). He did his residency training in General Surgery and, after that, Plastic Surgery, at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York. He is on the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in the Departments of both Surgery (Plastic Surgery) and Medicine (Dermatology), and is a Special Lecturer in the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York. He has admitting privileges at Beth Israel Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center, both in New York.

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