As much as you want it, it’s not possible to see the final results of your breast augmentation immediately after the surgery. That’s because, besides swelling, your implants will need some time to “settle” into place. That’s the process of dropping and fluffing. And you won’t be seeing the results of your surgery before this has happened.
Almost all types of implants need to drop and fluff. However, their timelines can vary depending on different factors. Even if two people get the same surgery at the same time, their implants may not settle at the same time. In some cases, the longer it takes for the implants to settle, the more worrying it becomes.
What Is Drop and Fluff?
‘Drop’ refers to the implant ‘dropping’ downward, whereas ‘fluff’ refers to the implant ‘fluffing’ the bottom half of the breast, below the nipple. These processes take place gradually over several months. Keep in mind that they may not occur simultaneously to both breasts, which can make them look temporarily asymmetrical.
Additionally, soon after the surgery, the implants may appear to sit too high on the chest. Your breasts may also look square, flat and even pointy. The reason for this is that your breast tissues (and muscles if the implant is placed beneath it) are constricting the implants.
Your breasts will slowly stretch to accommodate the new implants, after which they’ll finally settle into place. Once that happens, your breasts will look bigger (though they might look smaller for a while after the majority of swelling subsides after 6 weeks).
Moreover, they’ll become softer. The bottom half of the breast will have a greater curvature, and you’ll feel the edge of the implant above the breast crease. Your nipple-areola complex will also rise a little as the breast fluffs up at the bottom.
However, keep in mind that you also need the swelling to subside to see the final results of the surgery. And it can be a year before that happens.
What Is the Drop and Fluff Timeline?
Generally, it takes 3-6 months for the breast implants to drop and fluff. However, these processes can take 6-9 months if the breasts are too small or tubular. Following is a timeline of dropping and fluffing after augmentation surgery:
Post Op: Week 1
Your breasts will feel tight and sore because the tissues and muscles need to stretch to make space for the implants. Moreover, you’ll have swelling, asymmetry, pain, bruising, and numbness at this stage. There may also be nerve pain, which usually feels “sharp.”
Post Op: 6 Weeks
Most of the swelling will subside 6 weeks after surgery. It can make the breasts look smaller, and many patients feel that they should have gone bigger at this stage. However, the dropping and fluffing process is still ongoing. Once the implants settle in the lower half of the breasts, it will make them look bigger.
Post Op: 3-6 Months
At this stage, the bottom of your breasts will become rounder and more noticeable. They will also round out more prominently on the sides. Your breasts will be close to their final shape (unless their size is too small), but you should wait till the 12th month.
How To Speed Up Drop and Fluff?
It’s not possible to speed up the dropping and fluffing of breast implants because it depends on multiple factors that are beyond the patient’s or surgeon’s control.
What you can do is make sure that you follow the aftercare instructions of your surgeon. To help your implants settle in time, do not forget to wear your surgical bra.
Bra bands may also be recommended for some patients to push down the implants. Also known as an implant stabiliser band, it’s worn above the breasts to help with dropping and fluffing. But only use it if advised by your doctor.
Additionally, you may be advised to perform a breast massage for 2-3 minutes for 2 months after the surgery. There are different techniques for it that essentially involve compressing the breasts from the inside and outside. Make sure to consult your doctor about them beforehand. Other than that, make sure to stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, and get adequate sleep.
Things To Consider About Dropping and Fluffing
How quickly your implants settle depends on:
- Skin Laxity – If you have good skin elasticity, it will take some time for the tissues to stretch. However, your implants will drop and fluff more quickly if your breast tissue has stretched due to pregnancy, weight fluctuations, or previous breast surgery.
- Implant Size – Larger implants will drop faster due to gravity. But another thing to consider is that having larger implants will require your tissue to stretch more, which will take time.
- Implant Surface – There are textured and smooth implants. A textured implant’s friction with your breast tissue will slow the drop.
- Natural Breast Size – If your natural breasts are small in size and you have good skin elasticity, the breast tissue will be tightly wrapped around the implant, which will make it go down slower.
- Implant Placement – If the implant is placed over the pectoral muscle, it will drop and fluff more quickly because there would be no pressure from the muscle. There would be no need for the implant to stretch the muscle tissue and the breast tissue.
- Muscle Strength – If the implant is placed under the muscle, its strength will also make a difference. If you’re physically active, you’ll have enhanced muscle strength, which can make it even more difficult to stretch it.
Keeping these factors in mind, just remember that dropping and fluffing can take place at different paces for different people.
What If the Implant Doesn’t Drop and Fluff?
If your implant doesn’t drop and fluff, it could be indicative of capsular contracture. This condition refers to the formation of a ‘capsule’ of scar tissue around the implant. It’s how your body normally reacts to any foreign object.
In the case of implants, this capsule can be problematic if it starts to harden and shrink around the implant. That will prevent the implants from dropping down and fluffing the bottom of the breasts.
This complication can cause both functional and aesthetic problems. If you feel like your breasts are becoming harder, more painful, and too round, you should get in touch with your doctor. Thankfully, this condition is highly treatable.
Implant Dropping vs. Bottoming Out: What’s The Difference?
There’s a clear difference between implant dropping and bottoming out. In both cases, the implant is moving downward, but in the case of bottoming out, the results aren’t aesthetically pleasing.
An implant bottoms out when the skin of the lower half of the breast is overstretched. And this can happen if your breast tissue is too thin or weak. As a result the distance between the nipple and breast crease increases. The bottom half looks too full and almost looks like it’s sagging.
To treat this, usually, an internal mesh is placed below the implant so that it can be supported. Keep in mind that it will not resolve on its own, and you’ll need revision surgery for it.
Dropping and fluffing, on the other hand, is a part of the healing process. And this drop will actually help your breasts look more natural. So, it’s nothing to worry about. It will resolve on its own.
Even the slightest changes in the breasts can give you a scare during recovery. But rest assured, dropping and fluffing is nothing to worry about. It is normal and part of the recovery process.
Keep in mind that in order to place the implant, plastic surgeons create a pocket in the breasts. Until your implants settle into that pocket, you will not see the final results of the surgery. Usually, this settling process takes 3-6 months (you can take pictures of your breasts to see how they change over time), but if you feel that you’re not recovering normally, get in touch with your doctor.
Reviewed and approved by Prof Dr Fuat Yuksel.
Do all breast implants drop and fluff? ›
Generally speaking, implants begin to drop and fluff after a few days, approach their final position after six weeks, and settle entirely after three months. At Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, we want you to know exactly what to expect after breast enhancement.What helps implants drop and fluff? ›
Gravity, skin stretch, and gentle massage can all help implants drop into place. Of course if one has a textured device, they are placed where they should be and no massage is needed nor waiting for "settling".Do implants look bigger after they drop and fluff? ›
After dropping, the implants relax or “fluff” into the lower breast areas, taking on the natural teardrop shape which is more projected. The breasts begin to look larger with normal contours, taking on the appearance the patient had in mind when she started the process.What is fluffing after implant? ›
Fluffing is the skin expansion. No matter how the implants are placed, they are increasing the volume of the breasts, which means your skin has to stretch. As the skin adjusts, you lose that overly tight feeling and the implants are able to take on a more natural shade.Do breast implants get bigger as they drop? ›
Your breast size may also increase slightly. Plastic surgeons sometimes call this “dropping and fluffing”. The breast implants drop into a lower position on the chest and expand in size as the pectoral muscle and breast tissues place less pressure on your implant.Is dropping and fluffing painful? ›
Drop and Fluff Timeline
It will feel tight especially while breathing deeply with discomfort on your upper abdomen. Pain meds will be prescribed to manage the pain and discomfort. Bruising and swelling around the implants is normal, and the implant contour is less defined until the swelling decreases.
Is there anything I can do to speed up the drop and fluff process? You are advised to wear a specially designed surgical support garment in the weeks after your surgery. This will reduce swelling quicker and help shape your breasts, as the implants and tissues are supported during the healing process.What makes breast implants drop faster? ›
You'll notice the first signs of implant drop after a few days, and this process can be moved along by using a breast band and massaging your implants to promote faster dropping. (Silicone gels and sheeting may minimize your scarring as well.)When should I start massaging my breast implants? ›
You should begin massaging your breasts one week after your surgery to promote healthy and beautiful results. You do, however, want to wait until after your incisions have healed to be sure that you do not open the incisions, as this can lead to infection.How long does it take for breast implants to fully drop and fluff? ›
The entire drop and fluff process can take three to six months to complete, however, so don't worry if your implants still feel tight or look a bit high even after most of the swelling has dissipated.
What does drop and fluff feel like? ›
While your breasts may appear to sit abnormally high on your chest wall and feel “tight” during the first few months following your breast augmentation, they will settle into a lower, more natural-looking position and become softer and rounder over time—a process known colloquially as “drop and fluff.”Do breast bands help implants drop? ›
The breast band will encourage the implants to drop and settle into a natural position. It is not unusual for a surgeon to decide on neither strapping nor a breast band as they feel a sports bra is enough to support and protect the patients' new assets.How do I know if my implants have dropped and fluffed? ›
You should be able to tell when the “fluffing” is done as you can feel the implants above the inframammary crease, this means it has fallen into its pocket. Many patients notice one breast has dropped into the correct position, while the other remains high and tight – this is no reason for concern.How long do I have to sleep elevated after breast augmentation? ›
Essentially, you'll need to sleep in an elevated position after breast augmentation surgery for at least one to two months (around six weeks for the majority of patients). The reason is that this position helps to reduce swelling, largely by taking the pressure off the incision areas and the implants themselves.Why do my breast implants fall to the side when I lay down? ›
Answer: Normal to a degree
It is natural for the breasts to move away from each other, falling to the sides. This is natural anatomy. However, if you think there is excessive movement, then you can speak to your surgeon about fixing the pockets in which the implants sit.
During the recovery period, your breasts will settle into their new position as your implants begin to drop into place. It may take up to three months for your breast implants to drop into a more natural position.Why did my breast implants drop so low? ›
This condition occurs when the skin and underlying tissue are unable to hold the breast implant in place. If there is no adequate support, the implant falls down below the crease. Bottoming out usually happens to women with little natural tissue and skin coverage. Implant placement is also known to play a role.Are you supposed to massage breast implants? ›
While we do not recommend massaging the breasts immediately after surgery, there are several benefits to incorporating massage after you have been cleared by your surgeon. Massage after breast augmentation can: Help your incisions heal faster. Keep the breast tissue soft, flexible, and natural-feeling.How do I keep my implants from dropping? ›
- Wear properly fitted bras. Push-up bras can do more harm than good for your breasts. ...
- Watch your posture. ...
- Sleep on your back. ...
- Take good care of your skin. ...
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What happens if you don't wear compression garments after breast surgery? If you do not wear a compression bra following breast implant placement or stop wearing it before your implant settles in a new shape and size, there is a high risk of your implants dislocating from their position.
When can you raise your arms after breast augmentation? ›
Patients should wait at least 1 – 2 weeks after breast augmentation before lifting their arms over their heads. You can, however, move your arms around periodically to prevent any stiffness. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any movement that causes discomfort or pain.How long do you have to sleep on your back after breast reconstruction? ›
Our board-certified plastic surgeons advise breast reconstruction patients to sleep on their backs for the first two weeks after surgery. Many women choose to sleep in a recliner during this time.How long does it take for your breast to drop after breast reduction? ›
By the end of three or four months, your breasts will have fully healed and settled. At this point, you can see the final, shapely and smaller results. Break out the cute bras and smaller tops and enjoy the results of your breast reduction!
Proper Breast Massage Technique
Using the same hand, place fingertips near the armpit and gently press the implant towards your sternum, hold for a few seconds and release. Using the same hand, gently cup the upper portion of the breast and encourage the implant downward, towards your belly.
All implants, even teardrop-shaped gummy-bear ones, go through the “fluff” part of implant settling, even if they skip the “drop” stage.What happens if you move too much after breast augmentation? ›
Capsular Contracture: Heavy activity before you have healed enough from breast augmentation can cause capsular contracture, an uncomfortable condition that can only be corrected with surgery.When can I stop wearing a bra after breast augmentation? ›
Generally speaking, you shouldn't consider going braless for at least six weeks after breast augmentation. Your breasts need to be thoroughly supported during this time to ensure optimal healing. After six weeks, you may occasionally go braless, but try to keep this to special occasions, and don't make it a habit.What is the after care for breast implants? ›
You should not attend work, school, or extracurricular activities until 10 days following your procedure. No lifting, pushing, or pulling heavier than five pounds until two weeks after surgery, and be sure to avoid strenuous activities that raise blood pressure and pulse or require excessive use of the arms and chest.Do implants under the muscle look smaller? ›
Placing the implant below the muscle does typically make the implant look slightly smaller as the muscle will give the implant a touch more of a natural slope. It also compresses the implant, which makes the breast look slightly smaller.What can cause implants not to drop? ›
There are several reason why the breast implant does not drop. Sometimes the muscle does not completely release and the pectoralis muscle keeps the implant too high. Another reason can be that the inframammary fold, the fold underneath the breast, was not properly dissected.
How can I make my implants closer together? ›
Unfortunately no, there is no procedure to move your breasts closer together. But as the other surgeons have stated, fat grafting could help narrow cleavage and breast implants can increase it as well.What holds breast implants in place? ›
After the surgeon removes the breast tissue, a plastic surgeon puts in a breast implant. The implant can be put under the skin or muscle on your chest. Mesh is sometimes used to hold the implant in place, much like a hammock or sling.How should implants look when lying down? ›
The implants should stay in the center of the chest and not flop to the side or move up. The breast should retain a lot of its fullness and not flatten too much when lying down.How do implants look when lying down? ›
Lying Down: Because anatomically shaped breast implants are better at maintaining their shape, they will keep that shape even when the patient is lying down. This may cause an unnatural look because the implants will not spread out like natural breasts would; rather, they will somewhat maintain the “teardrop” shape.When can I lift my arms after breast reduction? ›
Lifting your arms over your head, bending and heavy lifting should be avoided for the first few days after breast reduction surgery. After several days have passed, you may gradually increase your daily activities. Anything strenuous should be avoided for a minimum of six weeks to promote complete healing.Do some breast implants not drop? ›
Answer: Breast implants that never "drop" are probably due to inadequate pocket dissection. Most breast implants will loosen up as the swelling goes down and artificial support for the volume of the implant disappears. If the breasts then re-ascends, this is probably due to capsular contracture.How long does it take for breast implants to look normal? ›
It can take as long as three to four months before you are able to see your final results. This is due to the fact that it takes time for your breast implants to settle into their proper position and for all residual swelling to subside.What happens if my implants don't drop? ›
If you're worried about your breast implants not dropping after 6 months, don't panic. There are various factors playing into this process as mentioned above, such as the tightness of your pectoral muscles and the size and material of your implant. Your implants will continue to shift after the 6-month mark.Do implants get smaller once they drop? ›
Your breast implants may appear to be bigger or fuller once they've dropped to a lower, more natural-looking position on your chest and "fluffed" into a rounder and softer shape. Changes in the size or shape of your new breasts after augmentation can also occur as swelling and tightness subside.