While the name may sound a little odd, “Drop and Fluff” is an important part of breast augmentation recovery. The process occurs when skin covering the breast stretches and the muscles begin to relax. As this happens the implant will gradually shift down and outward in a movement known as the “drop. The drop is followed by the “fluff,” which involves the implant filling out the lower breast to create volume below the nipple.
The important thing to remember is this process takes time, and the results will not be immediate, so don’t worry if your breasts aren’t sitting perfectly. Be patient with your recovery and over time you will see your breasts take their natural shape.
The “drop and fluff” process
If you choose to undergo a sub-muscular breast implant, you will notice during the first few weeks of recovery that your new implants sit in a high position on your breasts. This is entirely natural and is caused by the tightening of muscles across your chest. As these muscles begin to relax, the implants will gradually settle and spread out into the surrounding tissue.
Of course, everyone is different, and the effects of the drop and fluff process can vary due to a number of reasons. These include; pre-existing pectoral tightness, firm breast tissue, and the size of the implant. However, the shape of the implant has no effect on the process, with the breasts continuing to take on a teardrop shape regardless of what implant is used. Other factors to be mindful of are the weight and coating of the implant. Unfortunately, breasts are not immune to the effects of gravity and a heavier implant will drop more than a light one, while a more textured implant may grip to the tissue and drop less than a smoother one. To help the process along, your surgeon may recommend you massage the implants or use a breast band to aid recovery.
As you can see, there are a range of factors that affect the drop and fluff, but understanding the process and the outcomes is an essential part of your preparation. Breast augmentation is a big commitment and it’s important you know how your implants will change and what you need watch for.
After the first few days your implants should begin to drop, and after about six weeks they should almost be in their final position, which they will gradually reach after three months. You should be able to tell when the “fluffing” is done as you can feel the implants above the inframammary crease, this means it has fallen into its pocket.
Many patients notice one breast has dropped into the correct position, while the other remains high and tight – this is no reason for concern. Breasts are almost never symmetrical, therefore the breast with more space allows the implant to drop faster, and the other breast will gradually follow suit. However, in rare cases where the breasts don’t drop at the normal rate, more serious issues could be occurring. If after six weeks the lower part of your breasts feels empty, consult your doctor. Possible reasons for breasts not to drop could be capsular contracture, or the muscle was not released correctly and is unable to make the pocket for the implant.
Breast augmentation recovery timeline
While every patient is different, recovery will usually take around three months, during that time, it’s important to be aware of what to expect.
You will notice the muscles in and around your breasts feel tight and sore. This is completely normal and is a sign your body is healing itself. During this time it is essential that you get ample rest. We advise dedicating the first two days after your surgery to recovery and arranging for someone to assist you over the next few days as even the smallest exertion could disrupt the healing process.
In these first few days, you may also notice a number of side-effects including bruising, swelling, nipple sensitivity, and general discomfort. To alleviate this, your doctor will provide you with medication.
You may also be required to wear a post-op surgical bra. The bra acts as a compression garment and will lower your risk of complications and certain side-effects, as well as speeding up your recovery. Your surgeon will advise you when to start and stop using this.
Week two and three
By this stage, most of the pain, swelling, and bruising will have subsided, and you should feel ready to go back to work, but your surgeon will be able to assess your recovery to make sure. While you may be feeling more mobile, it is important that you do not do any heavy lifting. Your body is healing, and your muscles need time to form pockets around the implants. If these instructions are not followed correctly, damage could be done to the surrounding tissue, requiring corrective surgery in the future.
After about three weeks most side-effects should have subsided, but you may still experience some swelling and soreness. You will also begin to feel more energetic. This is a great sign; it means you can return to your daily routine and start light exercise, such as walking. However physical exertions should still be avoided.
Week four and five
At this point, the swelling should have subsided, giving you a good idea of what the final results will be. While your body is still healing, the majority of physical changes will be complete and most of the skin, muscles, and tissues will have recovered. Remember if you do wish to resume more demanding tasks, ask your surgeon first.
Week six to month three
Over this period the final shape of your breasts will form, and by the end of month three, the implants should be fully settled. It’s a long process, but the results are worth it so be patient with your body and let it heal.