Ask a doctor

Will Sleeping Upright Help my Breasts Drop?

I have read alot about sleeping upright, but am not convinced of its merits. I am 2 weeks post-op with 325cc silicone anatomical dual-planes. Its hard to sleep upright, but if it helps them to drop faster, or effects the final result of my breasts, I will persevere. My PS gave me thumbs up to sleep on my side or back. I am curious about the general consensus on this topic. Does sleeping upright have short or long term benefits? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 14

Sleeping position after breast implant surgery

Sleeping upright for the first few days after surgery will help decrease some of the swelling, but will not make the implants "drop" faster.  You can sleep on your side after about a week or so but should avoid stomach sleeping for a few months.  The implants will settle or "drop" naturally over time provided your surgeon created an adequate pocket or space for the implants.  This whole process may take up to three months for the implants to soften and settle into their  final natural position/shape.

Please speak with your board certified plastic surgeon for more detailed information.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 239 reviews

Sleep upright and dropping implants

I doubt is sleeping upright will help much.  You may consider wearing a strap across the upper pole of your breast to provide some constant pressure to help the pocket stretch out and maybe drop a little bit.  I would not ruin your nights of sleep.  If your implants remain too tight and/or high you may end up needing an open release of the lower pocket which is usually a pretty quick procedure with a fast recovery. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Sleeping Upright and Breast Implant Position

I believe sleeping upright has no merit on helping implants to settle.  In my humble opinion I believe that when you place all implants that when I leave the OR the final shape should have been obtained.  I will say in my experience that saline implants will "ride high and settle" over time but silicone implants do not.  There is a smaller margin for error with silicone implants.

Dr. ES

Helping your breast implants to drop.

If your PS surgeon advised you to sleep elevated, follow his instructions.  Sleeping upright may help with swelling as well. 

SEE VIDEO with EXERCISES BELOW. This video illustrates some of the exercises as well as upper pole band to promote descent of the breast implants. I sometimes encourage patients to do this twice or three times as frequently on the higher side

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Implants dropping and sleep position.

The implants themselves do not actually "drop." What occurs is a slow relaxation of the inferior breast tissue to accommodate the increase in weight from above. Sleeping upright is unlikely to do much to hasten this process. It is simply more likely to cause you to lose sleep. What is more important in your case is proper support of the implants until the capsules form. With anatomic implants, it is very important to keep the position of the implants stable until the scar tissue forms so that the implants do not shift. Your plastic surgeon has likely given you very specific instructions on what bras to wear and exercises/activities to avoid. You should strictly follow these instructions. However, sleeping upright is more of an internet/chat room myth than actual science.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast implant dropping

Breast implants post op really do not "drop" physically, although we all use the term. What actually happens is that the tissue around the breasts relax with time and as this happens, the lower potion of the breast fills out. Sleeping upright will just make you sleepy, tired and cranky.

There is nothing I know of that will significantly speed this process

Jack Peterson, MD
Topeka Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Sleeping after surgery...

Breast implant position would be minimally impacted by sleeping in the upright position. Although this maneuver might have a slight impact on swelling, its biggest impact would be upon your ability to sleep. For this reason, we see no benefit to sleeping in this position for prolonged periods of time.
The period of time immediately following breast augmentation surgery is characterized by rapid change. During this period, swelling, muscle spasm, and the healing process itself all contribute to changes in the appearance of a woman’s breast.In some cases, swelling and muscle spasm can cause upper breast fullness.
When swelling and muscle spasm resolve, the implants will drop into a more normal position.Significant progress can be seen in four to six weeks, but changes can be expected up to six months following surgery.

You need to sleep well while you recover

It's essential that you get a good night's sleep while you recover, since this is far more beneficial in helping your results appear sooner. Sleeping upright is uncomfortable and won't give you the rest you need. Ask your surgeon if a tensor bandage wrapped around the top of your breasts will help accelerate the rate at which they settle.

Breast Implants don't really drop.


Unfortunately, I have a minority view.  I think the breasts should look good , with the implants in the correct position, at the end of the operation.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Gravity always wins in the breast implant positioning battle

I'm sure you are anxious to see your implants 'drop' into their intended position- this takes time, sometimes a few weeks to occur. Since you had a dual-plane breast augmentation, your inferior pectoral attachments were completely divided- this means what is holding your implants 'up high' is the pressure of your pectoral muscles. Once the pecs relax over the implant, they will drop into the lowest position of the implant pocket- which is defined by the infra-mammary fold in your case. The 'pec strap' bras help with implant positioning (in my opinion), but time and gravity will do the work !!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.