21 Day Post Op, Right Side Still Swollen, Not Dropping. Was the Implant Pocket Not Big Enough?

21 Days Post Op. I got smooth Saline Mod Profile Implants placed under the muscle. My right side has been high/swollen since my surgery. It feels a little softer but doesn't seem to be dropping. I've gone to my PS every week since my surgery and he said I am just very swollen and it will just take time to drop. My left side dropped during week 1. I had 400 cc on left & 425 on right. Could the implant pocket not be large enough? I love my Dr but just want a 2nd opinion.

Doctor Answers 10

21 days post op

You are still early in the recovery process.  The implants will drop into the pocket that was created during surgery and massaging the implants downward will assist in the dropping of the implants after surgery (for those patients who want to help with the settling of the implants).   Normally, it takes about 3 months (for some patients longer) to see the final result.  It is VERY COMMON for one side to settle faster than the other.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,501 reviews

Los Angeles Breast Implants

Hello and thank you for the question.

In evaluation of your breast augmentation photographs, your results look good.  The right side looks a bit higher than the left, I agree, but at 3 weeks you are still very early in the healing process, and settling of the implants will take several weeks and up to months.  It is very common for settling to occur in an asymmetric time frame so I wouldn't place too much concern in the asymmetry at this stage. As my colleague suggested, I would continue with the exercises as directed by your physician.  I would also consider using a band strap. Consult with your doctor if you have more concerns.


Kindest regards and best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Breasts Heal At Different Rates After Surgery

After surgery, it is not uncommon for one breast to take longer to heal and settle than the other.  If you have a smaller breast to start out with, that breast needs to stretch more and accomodate a larger implant.  Because of that, the tissues are tighter to start out, the breast will feel firmer, and there will be more swelling.  Subsequently, it takes longer for it to achieve its final volume and shape.  At this point, just be patient and everything should balance itself out over the course of the next month or two.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Breast Augmentation Recovery

If there is one rule in the recovery after breast augmentation, it is that the right and left side will behave differently. One side may be more swollen, painful or take longer to drop. If you think about it, why should they behave exactly alike. In my experience, breast implants seem to take 2-4 months to settle into their final position, and sometimes even a little longer. Also, saline implants seem to settle in a little slower than silicone, but that has just been my own observation. As long as you are making some progress, I wouldn't worry so early in the recovery process.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

21 Day Post Op, Right Side Still Swollen, Not Dropping. Was the Implant Pocket Not Big Enough?

Based upon your photo I see an excellent early result. I bet you are right handed! Do more massages on the right side to have it fall a little more. Otherwise love your result. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Will my implant drop?

Sometimes being patient is the hardest part of the recovery process - it can take up to 3 months or more for the implants to settle and the swelling to finally resolve.  Massage and/or a band can sometimes help the process. 

Michelle A. Spring, MD, FACS
Missoula Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

How Long Does It Take For Implants to Settle?

Breast implants that are placed in a submuscular position or in a "dual plane" (partial submuscular) tend to ride high at first.  It  is not unusual to have one ride high and the other a little lower at first.  An implant stabilization band, gentle massage and patience are needed. It can take between four weeks to four months for the implants to settle into the lower portion of the pocket that was created at surgery. This will likely be a very good result!

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Right side swollen and not dropping. 3 weeks post breast augmentation

Thank you for the photo. You are still very early in your post operative course.  Breast implants tend to start dropping into place after 3 to 4 weeks. They usually will get to their final position in 6 to 12 months. One will usually drop faster than the other, and the shape may go through changes. It is good that you are following up with your Doctor.  Please follow your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon's post op instructions. For example; we like message, but some surgeons will have you wait, or do it in a specific manner. Please let them know your thoughts and concerns.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Wait three to four months

When implants are first inserted, they sit high up because your tissues are tight and gravity hasn't taken effect. Over time, natural tissue expansion occurs to allow the implants to fall into place. By this time, your breasts will have taken on a more natural contour, where the lower breasts become softer and rounder. Please wait at least four months for this to happen.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

21 days after breast augmentation is early

Your breast will continue to change and improve for the first several months, and 21 days is just to early to judge. I am curious however as your one implant has a very rounded upper edge and just perhaps the implant is not under the muscle. You can check yourself very easily.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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.