When the Time Comes to Settle

Regardless of how much we discuss what to expect after breast augmentation surgery, many patients are surprised at their initial results. When the initial bandages are removed after surgery, breasts will not only appear larger, as expected, but they also tend to appear pretty darn high on the chest. All in all, the initial position of the breasts makes them appear higher and larger than they will once tissues around the implants fully heal. Over time, breast implants will do what we call “settle.”

How do Breast Implants Settle?

The height of breast implant position may be especially prominent when implants are situated behind the pectoral muscles. This is because the muscles are initially tight around the new fixtures beneath them. When muscles are tight, the implants are lifted upward and somewhat flattened near the bottom. This makes the upper pole of the breast look rounder and fuller.

Over time, the muscles gradually adjust to the new shape they hold. As the body acclimates, the pectoral muscles will relax and soften. As this happens, the implants are able to drop into their natural position. When settled, the new breast shape will have more fullness at the bottom. This process is also referred to as “dropping and fluffing.”

Every Patient is Unique

Patients often ask how long it will take for their implants to settle. The answer is different for everyone and one we cannot predict. One of the factors that we do know is that submuscular implants need time to drop while sub-glandular implants on top of the muscle do not. Breast implant type may also have an impact on post-surgical settling. There are several options in breast implant type, including saline or silicone, teardrop or round, and multiple options in profile. Each little aspect of the implant can relate to the timing of tissue recovery.

Something that patients should know about breast implant settling is that the process may not occur in a symmetrical way. One breast may drop into its new position more quickly than the other. This does not indicate a problem; it happens because muscle tone can vary from one side of the chest to the other. Eventually, both breasts can be expected to reach a symmetrical, natural position.

Are you ready for a change in breast size? Contact our San Antonio office at 210-227-3223 to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Breast Implants

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