Likelihood That Right Breast Implant Will Drop?

What is the likelihood that my right breast implant will drop, and if so, when? I started massaging my right breast 3 weeks after my surgery, as per my surgeon's instructions. I have not seen a slight change in their appearance at all. Preoperatively, my right breast was the lower one, which doesn't make any sense to me. The morning after my surgery, I felt the left implant drop right away. The right side had the most bruising/pain compared to the left.

Doctor Answers 10

Right breast implant not dropping yet, 3 weeks post op.

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Hard to tell anything without photos. You are way too early to make any statements about the final result. They usually start to descend at about three weeks. In general it may take 6 months to a year or so to have the implants finally fall into place. Best that you communicate with your board certified plastic surgeon and let him/her know what is going on. Every surgeon may have their own protocol for message, etc;.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

EVERY breast augmentation patient's appearance changes as time goes by.

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To state that "What you have is what you get" is overly simplistic, as every surgeon who does this operation sees that patients have some degree of swelling, usually some initial firmness, and position that settles (drops) as time goes by. Some incision choices may have more or less "dropping" as healing occurs, but the scar around your implants can be thin and pliable as tissues heal and scar matures, or the capsule can be thick and restrictive (grade 1-4 capsular contracture). More bleeding in your right breast could indeed have caused more scar around your breast, slowing or restricting the time and degree of implant drop, particularly compared to the other breast that may not have had any bleeding, bruising, or thickening of the capsule. (Bacteria contamination from your breast ducts or skin sweat glands or hair follicles--not infection, just presence of higher concentrations of these bacteria in one breast more than the other--can also cause different capsules and different appearance).

Time allows implant scar capsules to soften, settle, and mature, so it is good advice to be patient. Re-operation may be necessary; your surgeon will discuss this with you. Another option may be to consider leukotriene inhibitor (Singulair or Accolate) therapy; this can minimize capsular contracture in some still-active cases, and may soften the breast without surgery. This is new, controversial, unproven, and with a potential for some side effects, but may be a consideration, as surgery also has minimal but definite potential risks. Trust your doctor, but feel free to continue to ask questions!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Breast Implant Dropping

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You are still very early in the recovery phase. Sometimes one side drops sooner than the other and I would not be alarmed at this point.
It usually takes about 2 months to see a change and then at about 4 months time you will be at your final result. So to start to worry now is a bit premature. But I would recommend seeing your plastic surgeon during this time and continuing your implant massage frequently as prescribed.
Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Likelihood That Right Breast Implant Will Drop?

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Thank you for your question. Your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment of your situation, advice, predictions, and/or meaningful reassurance.

Generally speaking, breast implants will "drop" into the pocket that was created during surgery and massaging the implants downward may assist in the dropping of the implants after surgery (for those patients who want to help with the settling of the implants). The rate of breast implant "settling" may depend on factors such as size of breast implant pocket dissected, tightness of the overlying skin/muscle layers, and size of breast implant utilized. Normally, it takes about 3-6 months (for some patients longer) to see the final result. It is very common for one side to settle faster than the other.

Sometimes, one or both breasts implants do not settle as planned and revisionary breast surgery becomes necessary to improve the outcome. On other occasions, if the long-term breast asymmetry is mild ( understanding that absolute symmetry is very rarely achieved), patients will need to decide whether proceeding with revisionary breast surgery is worth the potential downsides associated with additional surgery.

Again, best to follow your plastic surgeon for more specifics. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be pleased with long-term.

Wait three months then see your surgeon if you're still unhappy with your results

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I suggest you wait until about three to four months after surgery before assessing your results. During this time, your breasts will gradually settle. Settling can occur faster in one breast, and it sounds like this is what's happened to you.

It may take up to 6 weeks after surgery

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The rule of thumb with breast implants is that they always ride high initially. This is why I have my patients wear a special bra that has a strap over the breasts that will help them fall. Without that bra they don't always fall but with it I've never had a problem. By 6 weeks after surgery it they haven't dropped the odds of them descending is slim. In this case they may need surgical correction. If the inframammary fold were different prior to surgery and this was not addressed at the time of surgery this may also be a factor.

Breasts can heal/settle at different rates

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Breasts can heal or drop at different rates but you should get back in to see your plastic surgeon to verify you are massaging like they want you to. I sometimes will add massage exercises as my patients heal but each case is individualized. You are early in your healing process but this is a time when you want to pay the right amount of attention to your massage.

Dr Edwards

Implant dropping

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It is hard to predict when a breast implant will "drop."  One usually drops first and the other soon follows. Give it some times it is only a few weeks. I have seen in 4 -6 months later in some women.

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

Hard to say...

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Whether or not an implant will drop or settle depends on the surgery that was performed, the relationship of your breast to the position of the implant, how and where the pocket was made, whether or not the inframammary fold was manipulated, the ype and size of the implants, and the quality of the capsule that forms. The best thing is to follow your surgeon's direction, not look at the breast day to day, and be patient. The capusle is basically collagen and collagen maturation takes months. As the capsule softens, the implant might settle, but if the capsule contracts, it might rise higher.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Unfortunately, your breast implant will not drop.

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Hi! I know this is not what you want to hear. But it is a myth that breast implants are supposed to "drop" after a breast augmentation. The truth is that the breasts should look great immediately after surgery.

I am afraid that what you are seeing will probably be permanent. Of course, you should not even consider a revision for 6 months, in case they do change. I recommend that you stop massage; it is frustrating, and it will not improve things.

The extra bruising and pain that you describe may well mean that you had a small hematoma in your right breast. A hematoma can cause capsular contracture which in turn can cause a higher breast mound. This is just a possibility.

What I do, is place the patient in a sitting position (you are still asleep, of course) just before the end of surgery. That way I can be sure that the shape and symmetry are great. If they are not, I keep working. This approach only adds 5 minutes to the operation, and it takes the guess work out.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

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.