Will Breasts Look Larger As Breast Implants Drop?

I had a full Breast lift and Breast implant surgery 4 days ago. I requested to go to a full C or small D. My results have been great. My nipples are now where they should be, and I no longer have droopy breasts. My breasts however, do not look as large as I would have hoped. My PS put in 450cc's memory gel silicone under the muscle. I started off as a B cup. Will my breasts look larger as the implants drop, or should I have gone for a larger size?

Doctor Answers 57

Lift with Augmentation Will Take Time Before Achieving Final Appearance

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As a general rule, implants will not look bigger after they "settle", BUT, there are several factors in considering how your final breast size will appear.  First, the breast lift creates tension in the skin and breast  that will eventually "settle" with time and that will be affected by the underlying implant.  Second, the implant will "settle", both with respect to the overlying lifted skin and breast envelope, but also due to the accommodation of the overlying muscle. Since this is not a saline implant, you won't have the usual "relaxation" of the saline implant that occurs with time, so the size of silicone implant, as it appeared when place on the operating room table, will not change. Finally, you have the natural occurrence of the body's response to trauma (surgery), so there will be swelling of all the tissues affected (skin, fat, breast, and muscle), and then there will be some element of retraction of this swelling....some skin types don't retract back as well as others.  All of these factors effect the final breast appearance (size, shape, symmetry), and as surgeons, we hope that our expertise allows us to accommodate for all of these factors during the surgery so the final appearance on the OR table is a prediction of what to expect after several months of healing.  Remember, the acute healing phase takes about 6 to 8 weeks, before transitioning into a chronic healing phase. So time and patience are important to achieve the final result we had planned to achieve. Of note, many times patients in the very early time frame (first week), get used to the appearance of the large, swollen breast, and then when it "settles" they think they are "small"....this is when reviewing your pre-op photos are helpful, because you can clearly see that, indeed, you are "bigger" but hopefully well proportioned. A 450 cc gel implant is fairly large, depending on your height/weight/stature.  So presumably you will be happy with your outcome with that large of an implant once the healing process is complete. Remember, breasts look differently in a frontal view than they do from the side view....if you are "rounding" from the side, you are probably "big enough" and didn't need to go with a larger size. And be sure to follow you surgeon's post-op recommendations to prevent problems as you heal!

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants Will Drop Into Normal Position Giving a Natural Appearance

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Immediately after breast augmentation the breasts are often quite snug. As time goes on, the overlying breast and muscle tissue should stretch. Usually the tightest part of the postoperative breast is the lower portion. As this part of the breast relaxes, the implants will settle more into the lower part of the breast, giving a more natural appearance. Often, the stretching will allow for more projection to develop. Projection is the dimension between the chest wall and the most projecting part of the breast which is normally the nipple area. As the volume of the breast shifts more to the lower part of the breast and as the central part of the breast stretches, you may look larger in your clothing. Typically, this shift of volume takes some of the volume away in the upper part of your breast. Most women however, equate larger breasts with increased projection in the central part of the breast.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Do breasts look larger as implants drop?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Early on, swelling obscures the shape of the breasts and the definition of the borders around the implant.  Therefore, the cleavage is less and the implants look flat and wide.  With time, they get better shape and definition, but do drop some.  As they drop, the swelling and upper-pole fullness goes away which causes some patients to think that they actually look SMALLER as they drop.

Breast Implants Following Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It’s not uncommon for patients to express concern about breast size in the immediate post-operative period.  Multiple factors make it impossible to assess breast size four days after surgery.  This is even more so when breast lift and augmentation are performed in combination.
Several factors affect the size of breasts in the immediate post-operative period.  These include swelling of the breast tissue, swelling of the surrounding tissue, settling of the breast implants and muscle spasm.  For several months following surgery each of these phenomena is undergoing significant change.  These factors interact in a complex manner to create a rapidly evolving situation.  It’s virtually impossible to make decisions about breast size until the situation has stabilized.
In some cases, it may not have been possible to place a larger implant at the time of the original procedure.  During surgical procedures it’s not uncommon for surgeons to make compromises to obtain the best possible aesthetic result.  In some cases, utilizing larger breast implants may cause conflicts with other aesthetic goals.  For instance having larger breast might create and unnatural look which may not be desired by the patient.  It may disrupt harmony, balance, and proportion with other surrounding structures.
It might also affect patient safety.  When breast lift and augmentation are performed together, a larger breast implant might compromise blood supply to the nipple areola complex.  All of these concerns might place limits on implant size with this procedure.
In most cases, resolution of post-operative swelling results in a decrease in apparent breast size.  Occasionally resolution of swelling in the surrounding tissues results in greater definition of the breast and the perception that they’ve increased in size.  The vast majority of patients are happy with their breast size after a brief period of adjustment.  Rarely secondary procedures are necessary for size.

Will breasts look larger as breast implants drop?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
As the breasts come down in swelling and the implants settle into their position, the appearance of breast shape and size will change over the next few months.  So it takes usually at least three months after a breast augmentation before you have a final idea of what the breasts will really look like.   The implant itself will not change size, but as the upper pole swelling comes down and the lower pole settles it can sometimes give the appearance that the breast is larger in relation to the chest.   You should wait until that happens.  After that, it is a good idea to get a formal sizing of your breasts before shopping for bras.  You may find at that point that your really are at a full C cup.

While most plastic surgeons will not guarantee a particular cup size, if the planning was done properly and the goals were communicated clearly before surgery then you should be pretty close.

All that being said, the biggest "problem" I encounter are patients who desire "natural-looking" breasts during the consultation, have a great result, but find out afterwards that they really wanted a fuller, less natural appearance.   This is probably the number one reason for revisions that I encounter in the first year after breast augmentation....patients exchanging the implants for a larger size.   3D imaging in the office can help in consultation to see how different implant sizes will look on you and help guide your decision.  

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Dropping of Breast Implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You are very early out of surgery so I would recommend that you do not worry about the size just yet.  The breast shape and size does change as the implant drops into the pocket. Many patients have told me that it does look bigger after things have settled.  Enjoy your results and allow yourself time to heal before making the decision that you are too small.  You can discuss that with your surgeon after 6 months or so when everything is settled.

Will Breasts Look Larger As Breast Implants Drop

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for submitting your question and photo. You are very early in your recovery from breast augmentation surgery. Your implants will soften and your breasts will change over the next several weeks. Yes, your breasts will look larger as the implants "settle" lower on the chest wall.  Final results take 6 months.  Discuss your concerns with your surgeon. Best wishes.

Breast size after lift and implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thanks for the great question. It is hard to say without photos or an exam but 450cc's after a lift is pretty aggressive.  I don't think going any bigger would be a better option.  If your breast were prone to sag without implants they are only more likely to do so again with large heavy implants exerting pressure on your breast.  Also size and preference changes depending on how old you are.  I find that my younger patients are typically looking for larger breasts while women in their 40's are not trying to look too big.  So it is important to keep this in mind when choosing your implants.  I feel tat the goal is something you are going to be happy with for a long time, not just the next few years.

I hope this helps :)

John Paul Tutela, MD
Livingston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Will Breasts Look Larger As Breast Implants Drop

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Actually it is the opposite, breasts look smaller as the breast implant drops.Initially after breast augmentation surgery under the muscle, the muscle and tissue are very swollen pushing the implant up high.As the swelling subsides and the muscle relaxes, the implant will drop into a more natural position.Most patients feel they wish they had gone a size larger because they have gotten used to the swollen size.

Does size change over time

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
In the initial post-operative period, when implants are placed under the muscle the muscle still thinks it lives against the rib cage. Over the course of the next month the muscle will relax accepting the fact that the implant is staying and you typically will become a little more prominent.

Roger J. Friedman, MD
Bethesda 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.