Breast Implant Settling: What to Expect

When you take off your bandages after your breast augmentation surgery, you may not see what you expected.  Your breasts will be larger, of course, but the implants will not be in their final position.  They may seem too high or too large in the upper portion of the breasts. There is no need for alarm, however, as it will take several weeks to months for your breast implants to settle and for you to see your final results.  Be patient – your new curves will gradually reveal themselves.

How do Breast Implants Settle?

You may feel that your breasts are sitting too high on your chest right after surgery.  This is particularly true when implants are placed sub-muscularly, or behind the pectoral muscles.  Right after the implants are placed, the muscles are tight, creating pressure that holds the implant upwards, flattens it, and makes the top portion of the breast appear fuller and more rounded than it will eventually look.

As the muscles adjust to the implants placed behind them, they will loosen and relax over time as your body heals.  The effect of this muscular loosening allows your implants to drop into a more natural-looking position, with the fullness of the implant settling towards the bottom of the breast.  This is often referred to as “dropping and fluffing,” because the implant shifts downwards and “fluffs” out the lower breast. The result of this shift is a beautiful, feminine curve to the breast. This process takes time, and when and how it happens varies among patients for several reasons.

What Determines How and When the Implants will Settle?

One major factor in how your implants will settle is whether they have a sub-muscular or sub-glandular placement. Implants that have been placed behind the pectoral muscles will take longer to settle to their final position as the muscles must adjust to the new implants.  Implants that are placed sub-glandularly are in front of the muscles; they do not affect the muscles and thus settle into position more quickly.

The type of implant you have chosen also plays a role in how and when they may settle. Implants may be saline or silicone, round or teardrop shaped, and smooth or textured.  They all have slightly different effects on the healing tissue and thus cause variation in the settling process. While rotation during healing does not cause problems for round implants, this may be an issue if you have anatomical or teardrop-shaped implants.  Though rare, it is important to look for shifts in these types of implants as you heal.  Your surgeon will inform you on what to look for and how you can help your breasts settle beautifully through self-massage, support, and compression.

Because our muscles are all different and we are not perfectly symmetrical, it is not uncommon for one breast to settle more quickly than the other. We usually have a dominant arm, and the uneven use of our dominant arm results in differences between the pectoral muscles. Do not be alarmed, as uneven settling is usually just the result of differences in these muscles. Your breasts will eventually both settle into their final position and even out. You can enjoy the natural-looking final results and your new physique within a few short months!

Get the body you’ve always dreamed of having. Call us today at (562) 448-6100 to schedule your consultation to explore the possibilities!