• The “Drop and Fluff” Phenomenon: What You Need to Know About Implant Settling

    by Dr. Semone Rochlin
    on Mar 23rd, 2017

Let us set the scene for you:

You got your brand new breast implants in our Scottsdale office, or maybe our Gilbert office, or perhaps even somewhere else entirely.

The bandages have just come off, and the swelling has gone down, and you’re excited to see your new silhouette in the mirror. And you find yourself thinking,

“Why, oh why, are my implants so high?!”

Don’t panic!

It’s completely normal, and they won’t look that way forever. The reason they are sitting so high (and that they aren’t quite the voluptuous size you were expecting) is because they haven’t settled yet. Breast augmentation is less like an instant makeover and more like a journey, and your implants just haven’t reached their destination yet. They still need to drop and fluff.

What does that even mean?

Well, the “drop” part of the phenomenon known as “dropping and fluffing” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The implants, specifically round implants, need to drop down into a lower position. The implants are being smooshed by your breast tissue or your pectoralis muscles, depending on the placement, and are essentially being flattened. This is the reason for their height and their lack of volume. Once the tissue and muscle relax around your new investment, they will start to fill back out and gravity will take matters from there.

Which brings us to…

… The “fluff” part of the phenomenon. Once the tissue and/or musculature relaxes, and the implants settle into the proper position, they start to fill back out as the pressure keeping them flat gives way.Pillow

This gives the impression of your breast implants being “fluffed” like a pillow: there’s always the same amount of filling in a pillow, but it looks much bigger when it’s pushed into the right spot.

All implants, even teardrop-shaped gummy-bear ones, go through the “fluff” part of implant settling, even if they skip the “drop” stage.

Can I make this go faster?

Yes and no. There are things you can do to speed up the recovery process after your breast augmentation, like medication and regular breast massage.

However, most of what determines the length of time needed for settling was decided before your breast implants were even placed, such as the material, shape, texture, and placement location (sub-glandular vs sub-muscular) of your implants.

For instance, sub-muscular implants take longer to settle, as do round implants. It will also take longer if you are very athletic because your muscles are well developed and won’t stretch as easily. You also shouldn’t wear an underwire bra until they have settled into place, because underwires push your tissue up and hinder the settling process.

We’re here to help

It takes anywhere from one to three months for implants to settle completely and for you to see your new shapely curves in the mirror. The only time you need to fret is if one, or both, of your implants refuses to settle at all, which means you might have capsular contracture. However, feel free to contact Dr. Rochlin at our Gilbert or Scottsdale offices if you have any breast implant questions after your surgery.  All of Dr. Rochlin’s patients have direct access to her post-op.

As one of the only female cosmetic surgeons in Scottsdale, she knows exactly what you’re going through and how to support you.  We are here to help!

Author Dr. Semone Rochlin Dr. Semone B. Rochlin is a Board Certified General Surgeon specializing in Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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