The term “drop and fluff” refers to breast implants and is familiar to most breast augmentation patients. It is commonly used on breast implant chat sites and refers to the process breasts undergo in the first few months after augmentation surgery. While this term may sound humorous, it is actually a pretty good description of the process and an important component of getting beautiful breast augmentation results.
Why Do Implants Look High and Tight at First?
Immediately after getting breast augmentation, patients experience an inflammatory process that causes the tissues to swell and the chest muscles to tighten. This can give breasts a high, tight appearance that may include:
- A “humpy” appearance along the upper breast
- A flat appearance at the outer breast
- A smaller-than-expected appearance because of constricted the tissues
Furthermore, swelling between the breasts can fill in the cleavage area, also making the breasts look smaller and wider apart than they actually are.
What Happens When Implants Drop and Fluff?
Over time, the swelling resolves, the tissues loosen up, and the shape of the implant starts to exert itself on the overlying tissues. As a result, the implants settle into a lower, more aesthetically pleasing position on the chest. They appear softer and rounder, and they look larger and closer together. Hence, “drop” (settle lower) and “fluff” (round out and look fuller).
The patient featured in the Instagram post below is 6 weeks post-op, and you can see that her implants are already starting to settle nicely.
How Long Does It Take for Implants to Settle?
In general, patients should expect breast implants to settle within 6 weeks to 3 months. And in reality, breasts progressively look more natural over many months. Different factors affect the speed of this drop and fluff process, including:
- Tight skin before surgery. Breasts of younger patients with no prior pregnancies or breast surgery will take longer to expand than looser skin.
- Larger implants. Breasts with large implants generally take longer to settle than smaller implants, as the skin has to stretch more.
- Textured implants. The implants take longer to settle than smooth implants as they are more stable and do not require postoperative breast massage.
The bottom line is that breast augmentation is an evolving process and patients need to be patient with their results. I sometimes call it the gift that keeps on giving as implants generally become more attractive with each week after surgery. It is important to understand this before surgery so you allow your tissue the time it needs to accommodate your new implants. Learn more about how breast implants settle from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and what to expect during breast augmentation recovery in our related blog post.
I encourage you to visit our online gallery of before & after photos to see the beautiful, natural-looking breast augmentation results our Phoenix and Scottsdale patients enjoy. If you’re interested in learning more about breast augmentation, request a consultation to get personalized answers to all your questions.
Published: 4/4/14, Updated: 9/30/2020