Do breast get bigger after implants settle or do they get smaller because they are swollen? (photos)

I had my breast augmentation done this week and I think my boobs came out smaller than what I wanted so when I told my doctor he said that they would look bigger once they settled

Doctor Answers 11

Breast size with settling

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Thank you for your question. During the post-operative period the breast are swollen, and the breast implants appear in a much higher position. Over time they descend and fills out the lower half of the breast. It may take several months for this to happen and can be encouraged with breast massage and compression. After the swelling goes down the breasts will appear smaller. However, as the implants settle, it may appear that the breast enlarges as the lower aspect of the breast fills out (at the expense of the upper portion of the breast).

Do breast get bigger after implants settle or do they get smaller because they are swollen?

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I would not venture a guess as to the possible appearance after settling to a larger size. In fact I doubt it. But we will have to wait and see... 

Settling implants

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It is unlikely that your breasts will look bigger once they have settled. The final consistent size will be apparent at about 3 months, after the swelling has gone down and the breasts have 'dropped' a little. At that point, they will most likely appear smaller and lower than they are currently, but not by a huge amount.  

Roy Ng, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon

Settling implants

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Implants will unlikely appear larger when they drop, in fact they may look smaller when the swelling subsides.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Do breast get bigger after implants settle or do they get smaller because they are swollen?

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Congratulations on having undergone the breast augmentation procedure.  No one will be able to predict exactly what cup size you will wear or whether the breast will look slightly smaller or slightly larger in the longer term. Variables involved include the presence of swelling currently and the disputed phenomenon called “dropping and fluffing” that occurs after several weeks. In my practice, I have seen this phenomenon occur; the breasts appear larger as the implants "settle". 

It may be helpful to you to know that many patients, shortly after breast augmentation surgery is performed, feel their breasts are “too small” or “too big”, only to be very pleased with the longer-term outcome of the procedure performed.

 At this point, I would suggest continued patience and continued follow-up with your plastic surgeon.  Stay emotionally even keeled during the process of physical and psychological “adaptation” to the new body image that occurs for any patient undergoing body contouring surgery.

Best wishes; hopefully you will be very pleased with the longer-term outcome of the procedure performed.

Swelling and Size After Breast Augmentation

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In general, the final consistent size after a breast augmentation procedure can be evaluated after 3 months time. By this time the muscle (assuming they are under the muscle) has relaxed and the skin envelope has stretched out enough. So most patients feel they are slightly smaller as the implants have settled inferiorly. However, breast implants don't change in size unless they are ruptured.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Do Breasts Get Bigger As The Implants Settle?

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Kind of.  The implants, especially when placed beneath the pec muscle, will tend to ride up over the first week and then gradually settle lower into a position behind the breast tissue.  The volume doesn't get bigger, in fact it gets smaller as the swelling disappears.  The appearance of the breast, however, gets larger as the implant fills the area behind the breast tissue rather than above it.  Things appear to look exactly how one would expect at this point in your healing.
Dr. Pyle

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Do breasts get bigger as they settle?

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Most of the swelling after breast augmentation occurs in the sternal/cleavage area as well as the ribcage area just lateral to the breast  (not the breasts themselves). Also the skin of the breast is very tight early postoperatively after breast augmentation which reduces  forward projection. All of this tends to blunt the new augmented appearance of the breasts until swelling subsides and the implants begin to settle downwards. Be patient, you will likely be very happy within a few weeks.

Do breast get bigger after implants settle, the drop and fluff.

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As the skin envelope relaxes and the implants settle and center in the breast pocket patients do describe a fluff effect as the breast begins to feel fuller and projection improves. This may not translate into a fuller cup size, but the look will be better.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Generally smaller and softer and prettier

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It looks like you will have a great early result and it will likely take a few weeks to settle. Usually in patients who have not had children or been previously heavier, the breast skin and muscle is tight. Therefore early after breast augmentation the implants sit high and flat as the muscle is in spasm and the skin brassiere is tight (like wearing a sports bra). As the skin and muscle softens the implant settles lower, the upper pole will become less full and round and the lower pole will become more full. There might be 5-10% swelling to resolve, and the shape will become more soft and natural. Your photos look great though limited and I would expect a nice result. It is always helpful in choosing sizes to try on various sizes and the size that looks best for you will be about 10% smaller than the size utilized. So if you choose 300 ccs in your bra prep, then usually your doctor would use 300 plus 30 or a 330cc as a final size. When you size an implant in your bra there is empty space around the implant that is unaccounted for and therefore you must add a bit. Stick to your doctor through your recovery and rely on his/her advice concerning your surgery. Best of luck to you. 

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 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.