What Does It Mean When My Doctor Says My Implants Will Drop?

The colloquial term “dropping and fluffing” refers to the process of your breast implants officially settling into place after breast augmentation. You may have seen this phrase when researching what to expect after breast enhancement or heard it in a consultation with a plastic surgeon without understanding what it means. It’s a relevant concept because it explains the results you see when the bandages come off are not final. A few processes take place during recovery to reveal the ultimate outcome.

When implants “drop,” it means they have gradually moved down and out until they’ve settled into a more natural position on the chest. This phenomenon occurs as the breast tissue expands, the surrounding muscles relax, and inflammation subsides, allowing the implants to fill the lower area of the breast below the nipple. At Bay Area Plastic Surgery in San Francisco, renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Leonard Gray will give you comprehensive information on what to expect during their breast augmentation recovery, including their drop-and-fluff timeline. Every patient heals at a different speed, and if you have any questions or concerns, our team is always on hand to provide answers.

 If you have heard this term before, but you’re still not entirely sure what it means when implants “drop” or what to expect when it happens, review the answers to these common questions about the drop-and-fluff experience to have more realistic expectations for your breast augmentation recovery.

What Does “Drop and Fluff” Mean?

Immediately after breast augmentation surgery, many patients worry that their implants sit high or slightly flat on the chest. The phrase “drop and fluff” originally came about to help describe the process that occurs after breast augmentation.

The term “drop” refers to the breast implants settling into a more natural position as the chest muscles, tissues, and skin relax and any swelling subsides. The term “fluff” describes how the implants fill the lower portion of the breasts as this relaxation occurs, allowing for softer and fuller results.

How Do You Know When Your Implants Have Dropped?

It’s typical for implants to not live up to your ideal right away. Dr. Gray will work hard to prepare you for this by giving you realistic expectations. After your operation, the implants’ higher position is due to tightness in the pectoral muscles and soft tissue swelling. These issues are common, regardless of whether you’ve chosen to have the implants placed above or below your chest muscles.

As your muscles relax, swelling subsides, and gravity takes its course, your implants will drop slightly as your body adapts to your new breast shape. You’ll notice your implants have dropped as soon as the swelling subsides, which usually takes about two to four weeks. You can expect your breasts to be in their final position at around three months post-operation.

The type and size of your implants play a significant role in the drop-and-fluff timeline. For example, larger implant sizes may drop faster. Implants with a textured surface may take longer due to the friction between the implant and surrounding tissues. Also, athletic women with defined chest muscles may experience longer drop-and-fluff timelines, as their muscles are less malleable.

Skin elasticity is also a factor. Patients with tighter, more resilient skin may find it takes their implants longer to drop, whereas loose skin will have an easier time accommodating the implants.

Will My Implants Look Bigger Once They Have Dropped?

A persistent breast augmentation myth is that breasts appear to shrink once the implants have dropped and fluffed. Though breast implants will always remain a consistent size, many women mistake the settling process as a size change. When swelling goes down, it can make your breasts look slightly smaller.

After your surgery, the initial fullness will shift downward as the implants drop. You’ll also likely see more projection as muscles and tissues relax around the implant. As your breasts change shape during this process, you’ll fill your bra cups differently, so you’ll need to go shopping for new bras. That’s why it’s so vital to only judge your post-surgical outcome once your implants have had a chance to settle fully.

What Can Cause My Implants Not to Drop?

Every breast augmentation is unique. If you’re concerned about your breast implants not dropping after six months, don’t panic. There are several reasons this might happen, including tightness of your pectoral muscles, the size and material of your implants, and capsular contracture. Remember, your implants will continue to shift after the six-month period. You should only start having concerns if your implants still haven’t dropped when you hit the one-year mark.

Regardless of where you are in your healing journey, if you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Gray and his team, and they’ll help you find a solution.

If your results following your breast augmentation concern you, we can always offer you some peace of mind. Dr. Gray has performed countless breast implant operations and knows what side effects are normal during recovery and which are cause for concern. The primary issue to look out for is capsular contracture, when the body forms a pocket of scar tissue around the implant to isolate the foreign object. The cause of your implants not dropping and fluffing properly could indicate that the pocket has hardened and started to contract around the implant, which can affect your breast appearance and be uncomfortable.

How Do You Speed up Drop and Fluff?

The best way to hasten the drop-and-fluff process for your breast implants is to follow Dr. Gray’s post-operative instructions, always wear your provided surgical garments, and trust the process. Many patients have found some success by gently massaging their breast tissue to help loosen and encourage the implants to move down. Be careful not to lift heavy objects for the first three to six months after your surgery, as this can further tighten the chest muscles. You can also sleep on your back in a slightly elevated position to allow gravity to take effect even when you are resting.

Let’s Chat! Learn More About Breast Augmentation in the Bay Area!

Waiting for your breast implants to drop and fluff is a game of patience. Your body must go through a process of creating space for your new breast size and position, but the results are worth it – especially if you’ve been dreaming of having a fuller, more defined chest.

With over 20 years in practice, Dr. Gray has become a top choice for cosmetic surgery in the Bay Area. His emphasis on patient safety and education, plus his innate attention to detail, have produced stunning, long-lasting results and patient relationships. We invite you to meet with Dr. Gray to discuss your ideal results during an informative breast augmentation consultation. You can reach our office through our website or by calling (628) 215-1617 at the most convenient opportunity for you.


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