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Breast Implants Drop and Fluff

Breast augmentation, a common surgical procedure to change breast size, involves more than just the surgery itself. After the procedure, the breasts go through a natural adjustment period. This is where terms like “dropping” and “fluffing” come into play. These are not technical medical terms, but rather casual ways to describe the changes your breasts undergo as they settle post-surgery. The process is a gradual one, where the implants move and the breast tissue adjusts, leading to the final, more natural appearance of the breasts.

In this blog, Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman will explore the topic of dropping and fluffing after Breast Augmentation.

Post-Operative Changes after Breast Implants Surgery

After breast augmentation surgery, the appearance and feel of your breasts won’t immediately match their final state. Initially, the implants tend to sit higher on the chest, leading to a feeling of tightness and swelling in the breasts. This initiates the “dropping” phase, where the implants gradually lower and settle into a more naturally positioned state. This change is subtle at first but becomes increasingly evident as your body heals and adapts to the new implants. Following this, the “fluffing” stage occurs, characterised by the softening and rounding of the breasts. During this phase, the surrounding tissues and muscles relax, adjusting to accommodate the implants, which results in the breasts starting to take on a softer, more natural shape and feel, contrasting with the initial post-surgery firmness. The entire process of dropping and fluffing, which transforms the positioning and appearance of the breasts to adapt to the implants, typically spans several weeks to months. The implants, initially positioned high, gradually “drop” to a more natural position as the “fluffing” phase sees the breasts soften, with the muscles relaxing and the skin adapting to the new size.

Different Shapes of Breast Implants and Their Impact on Drop and Fluff

When you’re considering breast augmentation, the shape of the breast implants is a key factor. This choice not only affects how your breasts will look but also influences the drop and fluff process.

Round Implants

  • Characteristics: Round implants are symmetrical and tend to give a fuller appearance to the upper part of the breasts.
  • Impact on Drop and Fluff: With round implants, the dropping process is often more noticeable. As they settle, they fill out the lower part of the breast, balancing the initial fullness at the top. Fluffing with round implants typically leads to a more pronounced and even fullness throughout the breast.

Teardrop (Anatomical) Implants

  • Characteristics: Teardrop implants are shaped more like a natural breast, with a fuller bottom and a tapering top.
  • Impact on Drop and Fluff: These implants might not show as dramatic a dropping process because of their natural shape. However, the fluffing phase is important for teardrop implants, as it enhances their natural-looking slope and results in a softer feel.

Smooth vs. Textured

  • Smooth Implants: These implants can move more freely within the breast pocket and may have a more noticeable drop and fluff phase.
  • Textured Implants: They are designed to adhere to the tissue, which can minimise movement. This might result in a less obvious drop but a significant fluffing phase.

Size Considerations

  • Larger Implants: They may take longer to drop and fluff due to the additional weight and stretching required of the skin and muscle.
  • Smaller Implants: Generally, these settle more quickly into their final position and shape.

Timeline of the Drop and Fluff Process after Breast Augmentation

Immediate Post-Surgery (Day 1 to Week 1)

  • Initial Recovery: Immediately after surgery, you’ll experience swelling and tightness. The implants will likely sit high on your chest due to the tightness of your chest muscles and the swelling.
  • Care and Monitoring: It’s crucial to follow Dr Bish’s post-operative instructions, which might include wearing a compression garment or surgical bra.

Early Stage (Weeks 2 to 4)

  • Initial Dropping Begins: Gradually, as the swelling decreases, the implants will start to “drop” or descend slightly. This is the beginning of the process where the implants move towards a more natural position.
  • Continued Care: Continue to wear supportive garments as advised and attend follow-up appointments with Dr Bish.

Intermediate Stage (Months 1 to 3)

  • Noticeable Changes: By this stage, the dropping process becomes more noticeable. The implants will lower further, and the upper part of your breasts will start to look less full and more natural.
  • Beginning of Fluffing: Towards the end of this period, the “fluffing” phase starts. Your breast tissues and muscles begin to relax, allowing the implants to settle in and the breasts to start softening.

Advanced Stage (Months 3 to 6)

  • Maturing of Results: This is when the most significant changes happen. The implants drop into their final position, and the breasts feel softer and more natural.
  • Full Fluffing: The fluffing phase is more evident now. The breasts achieve their final shape and feel, looking more natural and less like they’ve been surgically altered.

Final Stage (6 Months and Beyond)

  • Final Results: By six months, most women see the final results of their breast augmentation. The breasts have a natural appearance and feel.
  • Long-term Care: Continue with routine check-ups as necessary. Some women may find that their breasts continue to change slightly over time, but major changes should not occur beyond this point.

Remember:

  • Individual Variability: This timeline can vary significantly from person to person. Factors like implant type, surgical technique, and individual healing patterns play a role.
  • Follow-up Care: It’s vital to maintain regular appointments with Dr Bish throughout this period to ensure proper healing and to address any concerns.

How Can You Make Your Implants Drop Faster?

To accelerate the settling process of your breast implants, commonly referred to as “dropping,” there are several steps you can take. It’s important to note, however, that while these methods can support the natural process, patience is still a key component of post-surgery recovery. Here are some strategies:

  • Follow Post-Surgery Instructions: Adhering strictly to the guidelines provided by Dr Bish Soliman is essential. This includes wearing surgical bras or compression garments as directed, which can help position the implants properly and reduce swelling.
  • Perform Recommended Exercises: Dr Bish may recommend specific exercises or massages that can encourage the implants to settle. These gentle movements can help in loosening the muscle and tissue around the implant.
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding smoking can improve your overall healing, potentially aiding the dropping process.
  • Avoid Strenuous Activities: High-impact activities or heavy lifting can disrupt the natural settling of the implants. It’s important to avoid these activities in the initial weeks post-surgery.
  • Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Regular check-ins with Dr Bish allow for monitoring of your progress. Your plastic surgeon might adjust your recovery plan based on how your implants are settling.
  • Wear the Right Support: Proper support from well-fitting bras is crucial. Avoid underwire bras initially, as they can interfere with the natural dropping process.

What Happens If Your Implants Don’t Drop?

If your breast implants don’t settle into their desired position, a condition known as “high riding” implants, there are certain considerations and steps to take. It’s important to understand what this means and what can be done about it.

  • High Riding Implants: This term is used when breast implants remain higher on the chest wall and don’t drop into a more natural position as expected.
  • Potential Causes: It could be due to factors like the tightness of the chest muscles, scar tissue formation, or even the natural healing process of your body.

Steps to Take

  • Consult Dr Bish: The first step is to talk to your plastic surgeon. He can assess whether the implants are indeed high riding or if they’re still in the process of settling.
  • Consider Massage and Exercises: If advised by Dr Bish, specific breast massages and exercises might help encourage the implants to drop.
  • Revision Surgery: In some cases, if the implants do not settle over time, revision surgery might be necessary to reposition them.
  • Monitor for Capsular Contracture: Capsular contracture, a condition where the scar tissue around the implant tightens, could be a reason for implants not dropping. It’s important to monitor for any signs of this condition and discuss them with Dr Bish.
  • Patience and Time: Sometimes, it just takes longer for implants to settle, especially in cases of larger implants or those placed under the muscle.
  • Follow-up Appointments: Regular check-ups are crucial. They allow Dr Bish to monitor the progress and decide if any interventions are necessary.

FAQs about Dropping and Fluffing after Breast Augmentation

Can I sleep on my side or stomach during the dropping and fluffing phase?

  • In the initial weeks after your surgery, it’s generally advised to sleep on your back. This position helps in avoiding undue pressure on your breasts, which can impact the natural settling of the implants. While it might be challenging if you’re used to sleeping on your side or stomach, this precaution is important for your recovery. Dr Bish Soliman will let you know when it’s safe to return to your preferred sleeping positions based on how well your implants are settling.

How can I tell if my implants have dropped and fluffed completely?

  • Knowing when your implants have fully settled involves observing changes in their appearance and feel. When the dropping and fluffing process is complete, your breasts will typically feel softer, look more natural, and the implants will sit lower on your chest, resembling a more natural breast shape. However, since this process can be gradual and subtle, Dr Bish Soliman will be able to best assess the progress and confirm whether the process is complete during your follow-up appointments.

Is there a difference in the dropping and fluffing process between submuscular and subglandular implants?

  • The placement of your implants plays a significant role in the dropping and fluffing process. Implants placed under the muscle (submuscular) are subject to more pressure from the overlying muscle, which can slow down their settling. As a result, these implants may take longer to drop and fluff. On the other hand, implants placed above the muscle (subglandular) generally have less resistance and can settle into their final position more quickly. Dr Bish will discuss the expected timeline based on your specific implant placement.

Will wearing a bra affect the dropping and fluffing process?

  • Post-surgery, wearing the right type of bra is crucial. A surgical or sports bra is usually recommended as it provides the necessary support without constricting the breasts too much. These bras help in maintaining the position of the implants and can aid in the healing process. It’s important to avoid bras that are too tight or have underwires initially, as they can impede the natural dropping and fluffing process.

Can physical activities or exercise impact the dropping and fluffing process?

  • Engaging in certain physical activities or exercises too soon after surgery can affect how your implants settle. High-impact activities or exercises that put strain on the chest muscles can disrupt the natural dropping and fluffing process. Dr Bish will advise you on the best time to gradually reintroduce these activities. Initially, sticking to light activities like walking is beneficial, and as your recovery progresses, you can slowly start incorporating more strenuous exercises as recommended by Dr Bish.

Further Reading about Breast Implants with Dr Bish Soliman

Medical References about Dropping and Fluffing

About Dr Bish Soliman

Dr Bish Soliman - Sydney Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, about us 01 2x
Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon
FRACS (Plas), MS (Plas), MBBS (Hons 1), BCom

AHPRA Registered Medical Practitioner MED 0001679053 Specialist Registration in Plastic Surgery

Dr Bish Soliman is a Sydney-based Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who performs aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body as well as skin cancer surgery.

He currently holds two consultant microsurgery positions in major Sydney hospitals performing complex microsurgical reconstruction including DIEP breast reconstruction.

After graduating from The King’s School, Dr Bish completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney. After working briefly at a major Sydney finance firm, he decided to pursue his passion and long-term goal of a career in medicine. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame at the top of his class, receiving First class honours and the prestigious Bower and Sherrard medal. He then went on to complete his junior medical training at Westmead Hospital during which time he was awarded Junior Medical Officer (JMO) of the Year, as well as a finalist for NSW Doctor of the Year.

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