Breast augmentation can deliver fuller and more cosmetically pleasing breasts. The cosmetic procedure is ideal for individuals who have small breasts or experienced sagging or deflated breasts following breastfeeding, weight loss, or factors associated with aging.
Implant settling is a natural process that occurs over the first several months following breast augmentation. For patients who are not familiar with breast implant settling, Dr. Tracy McCall and the team at our Waukesha, WI, practice offer this overview on the breast implant settling timeline.
What Is Breast Settling?
Settling results in a more natural-looking orientation of the breast implants relative to where they were initially placed. This is one reason why Dr. McCall recommends that anyone who has undergone breast augmentation be patient throughout the recovery process.
Immediately after breast augmentation, the breasts may have an elevated appearance. This is especially true for surgical techniques that place the implants under the pectoral muscle. The muscles and tissue that support the implant will initially compress the implant. Over time, the tissue will begin to loosen, allowing the implant to fall into a natural-looking position.
Some women even see their breast size increase slightly. This natural process is sometimes called “dropping and fluffing” by plastic surgeons. Fluffing refers to how the implants fill out the lower breast below the nipple. Some patients initially have concerns with the lower portion of the breasts appearing under inflated. Over time, fluffing addresses this slight imbalance.
How Long Will This Process Take?
Each of our patients will experience breast implant settling along their own unique timeline. It is not unusual for one breast to settle before the other.
Factors that can influence breast settling time include:
- Implant size
- Implant shape
- Implant position
- Muscle tone
- Post-surgical care
In as few as a few days, patients may begin to notice their implants begin to settle. By several weeks, the implants will be near their final resting position. The three-month mark is typically the latest that movement will be noticed.
Athletes with strong chest muscles may require more time to notice breast settling. Once your incisions have healed, massages may aid in the settling process. Dr. McCall will be glad to offer tips and advice to ensure proper and even settling.
Give Your Breasts Time to Settle
The settling process can take several weeks or longer to complete. Throughout this process, your breast size may change as you recover. For these reasons, patients should hold off on buying extensive amounts of lingerie.
We recommend buying enough bras to last about three months. By then, you’ll have a better idea of how your final cosmetic results will look. Remember to avoid using an underwire bra, which can lift your breasts out of position as they heal.