Okay, you’re considering breast augmentation, and you’re doing your research. With the many pages you’ve read from different sites, you are beginning to understand the results you can expect when all is said and done. Larger, fuller, and natural results are what you are looking for, and from what you’ve read, you’re ready to start the process. But, perhaps you have come across the terms drop and fluff in your research and need some clarity on what they mean. Or, perhaps you’ve been focusing more on results and have paid little attention to the all-important recovery phase of the process.
As with all surgeries, recovery is a vital part of getting successful results from a breast augmentation procedure. The first step of recovery is to understand what you can expect. Because your body must adapt to the implants inserted in the breast area, there will be a period where you may question if your decision was the correct one to make. Your understanding of drop and fluff will make your recovery a better experience in the first few weeks after surgery.
Directly after surgery, your breasts may appear smaller and ride unnaturally high. This initial result is common, because your implants must settle and relax into their proper place which will take some time. Here’s why:
Drop and Fluff Defined
These terms may sound like what you do with your pillows at bedtime, but they refer to something breast implants experience after breast augmentation surgery. Because the implants increase the volume of what lies under existing breast tissue, the breast skin must stretch, and the muscles relax to allow the implants to settle into a more natural position. This gradual downward shift of the implant is known as the drop.
The fluff happens when the implants begin to fill the lower breast area below the nipple. This area is the most common place patients complain about before surgery. When the implants relax into this lower position, the lower part of the breast will project more and begin to take on a more natural shape and larger size.
The Drop and Fluff Process
Patients with sub-muscular implant placement will notice their implants sitting high for the first few weeks of recovery. This position is normal, because the pectoralis muscle is still tight which will raise the implant.
Gradually the muscle will relax which will cause the implants to settle and drop, filling out the overlying tissue. This drop and fluff process vary from patient to patient because of many variables like tissue and skin firmness, size of the implants, and muscle tightness before surgery. The process will not be affected by the type of implant, saline or silicone, nor will the shape of the implant have an impact.
What you can expect is the lower breast area will take on a more natural teardrop shape, even if the implant has a round contour. The process may vary due to implant size and implant coating with heavier implants dropping more because of a stronger gravitational pull, with textured implants dropping less because of more friction to counter gravity’s influence. Whatever the type of implant, board-certified plastic surgery Dr. Ben Lee recommends his patient wear a breast band during recovery.
Within a few days, your implants will begin to drop. Typically, after six weeks, you should be happy with the progress you see in your implant position, and after three months, they should have reached their final position. After the drop and fluff process, the edge of the implant should be evident just above your natural crease. When this happens, you can be sure your implant has fallen sufficiently.
Because breasts are rarely symmetric, when a breast has more space involved between the two, this one will experience the implant to drop faster. Because it’s common for one breast to drop into the final position while the other remains higher and tighter, you may feel anxious there may be a problem which needs attention. The truth is, this happens often, and you should not worry and be confident both implants will eventually fall into their proper location.
For more information about breast augmentation and its recovery, contact Dr. Ben Lee for a consultation.