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Although you will undoubtedly be anxious to see your results immediately after breast augmentation, there are a few processes that need to happen during recovery in order to reveal your final look. One important step is what's colloquially referred to as "dropping and fluffing" after getting breast implants.
If you have heard this term before but aren't quite sure what it means or what to expect when it happens, read through the answers to these common questions about the drop and fluff timeline so you can be better prepared for breast augmentation recovery.
"Dropping" and "fluffing" refer to the process of your breast implants settling into place after breast augmentation. Directly after your procedure, you might notice that your implants are "riding high" on your chest and may look flatter than you'd hoped or slightly square in shape. These are normal occurrences caused by tight skin and muscle tissue that will gradually resolve as your implants drop and fluff over the coming weeks.
As tight muscles relax and acclimate to your new implants, you can expect your implants to "drop" to a lower, more natural-looking position on your chest, as well as "fluff," or fill out the lower area of your breasts. This process will give way to a smoother, softer and more rounded final appearance, resolving temporarily high or flat implants as you continue to heal.
Initial swelling and bruising should subside in one to two weeks after getting breast implants. With this, your muscles should begin to relax, allowing your implants to gradually settle and soften. 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.
Keep in mind that everyone's breast augmentation recovery will happen at a different pace, so you may have a friend whose implants dropped and fluffed sooner than yours. Your own drop and fluff timeline might look different, and that is okay.
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.
You might notice that the appearance of your new implants changes several times before your final results settle in. This is normal and nothing to worry about. Before you spring for a new wardrobe, though, give your breasts several months to settle into place and for their size and shape to stop adjusting.
The rate at which breast implants will drop and fluff varies from person to person and will depend on how quickly your body begins to heal after your breast enhancement procedure. The most important thing you can do to help the healing and drop and fluff process go smoothly is to follow your plastic surgeon's aftercare instructions as closely as possible.
While there is little you can do to make your implants drop and fluff faster, following your plastic surgeon's recovery guidelines will help to optimize your body's natural healing process and minimize the risk of complications.
Some examples of breast augmentation recovery guidelines you may be asked to follow include:
If your breast implants are taking longer than expected to settle into place, don't panic. There are several reasons why this process may take longer.
Smaller, lighter implants, for example, may take longer than heavier implants to drop and fluff, as heavier implants have extra help from gravity to do the trick. Similarly, if you have textured breast implants, you may see a more gradual drop and fluff process than with smooth implants, since textured implants will have more friction against the adjacent tissue.
In most cases, breast implants will drop and fluff – whether gradually or more dramatically – over the course of three to six months after your procedure.
If this does not appear to be happening or if you are experiencing any problems such as unusual pain, bleeding or swelling that does not go down or is getting worse, don't hesitate to contact your plastic surgeon to rule out the possibility of complications.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.