For any women researching breast augmentation surgery or already having gone through the procedure, “dropping” or “fluffing” of the implants is a term often discussed. So what is “dropping” or “fluffing” refer to and what is actually happening? When breast implants are placed in a woman’s breasts, the surrounding soft tissue (skin, muscle, etc) must stretch to accommodate the implant. Our skin and soft tissue has a natural elastic and stretching ability. However, it takes time for this stretch and accommodation to occur. During the initial healing periods, the implants will feel like they are “riding high”. Many women will feel like their breasts are sitting under their chin. This is due to the fact that the skin and soft tissue has not been able to stretch out yet and the implant pocket (where the implants are sitting) is very tight. Over time (minimum of 6 weeks), the skin and soft tissue stretches out and the implants settle in to a more permanent position. This process is what people call “dropping” or “fluffing” of the implants/breasts.
A common question after breast augmentation surgery that women will ask is when will my implants drop/fluff? The thing to remember about this process is that it varies between patients as well as each breast. The time to “dropping” or “fluffing” can be quite variable. Size of implants, textured or smooth implants, in front or behind the muscle, pre-procedure skin elasticity, etc. can all have an effect on how quickly the implants settle. And it is very important to remember that a woman’s breasts are not twins but actually sisters. So each breast will heal at a different rate. Women after surgery will often be concerned that one breast looks quite different than the other one. This appearance can be quite common in the first few weeks after the procedure. Sometimes, breast massage will be indicated to help the implants soften. Also, occasionally a band worn across the top of the chest will be necessary to push the implant down. I tell women that it may take anywhere from 6 weeks to as long as 4-6 months for the implants to reach their final position. All of this is relatively normal and the thing to remember is that each woman heals differently and what your friend or sister went through may not be what you will go through. Take a look at the attached pics for an example of how implants change with time. If you want to learn more about breast augmentation surgery or are interested in proceeding with surgery, come in for a consultation with us at Setty Plastic Surgery. As a board certified plastic surgeon, I will be happy to discuss all options as well as the postoperative plan in detail.