Will the dropping and fluffing process take longer if I have tight chest skin and muscles?

Doctor Answers 6

Drop and Fluff


One thing for certain is you don't have 'tight muscles'. Women have been told that by many a doctor as an excuse for an unexpected outcome after breast augmentation surgery. The truth is that muscle aren't tight, and if they were, it would contribute to faster dropout. Theoretically, very thick and tight skin that may exist at the inframammary fold may inhibit or delay expansion, although properly chosen implants do not exhibit any problems with drop and fluff. Finally, don't be fooled into performing breast implant massage. It does not change any outcome, is not necessary for normal healing, and does not prevent or treat capsular contracture. Further, it is just bad practice to shift the responsibility of a good result into the patients' hands; any unexpected outcome is now the blame of the patient, which is of course, inappropriate and wrong. Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Will the dropping and fluffing process take longer if I have tight chest skin and muscles?

Thank you for the question.

Generally speaking, breast implants will "drop" into the pocket that was created during surgery. 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. 

Similarly, it takes a few months for the breasts to "soften" in most cases.  Most of my patients tell me that their breast implants feel "part of them" somewhere between 3 to 6 months after surgery was performed.

Many of my patients report that as the swelling around the breast implants (for example, in the sternal area) decreases, they feel that their breasts appear more projecting. Also, in my opinion, the "drop and fluff” phenomenon does hold some validity; as breast implants “settle”, many patients feel that their breasts actually look larger. 

 There is definitely a physiologic and "psychological" (body image)  adaptation process that occurs, at differing rates for every patient, for patients who undergo any type of aesthetic surgery, including breast  augmentation surgery.   

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Dropping and fluffing process after breast augmentation

Hello, you are correct that the process of the breasts softening and implants settling takes time, and the process is unique for each patient.  If the breast tissue is tighter it makes sense that it could take longer to relax and the implants to settle.

William Andrade, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Will the dropping and fluffing process take longer if I have tight chest skin and muscles?

This is correct. Implant size (the larger the size = the heavier they are = the sooner they drop) also contributes to how soon the implants settle into their pocket. 

Best wishes and kind regards, 

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Implant Drop: What Factors Influence the Rate of Drop?

Patients with smooth surface implants often find that their implants sit in a high position soon after surgery.  It takes time for the soft tissues to stretch and for the swelling to dissipate after surgery.  In the early days after the procedure, the soft tissue swelling can make the skin and breast tissue stiff and this will improve over the first weeks after the procedure.  In my experience, the tighter the skin, the longer it takes for implants to drop. 

Dense breast tissue also tends to slow implant drop.  In many cases, implant drop tends to uplift the nipple a bit as well, often a good effect as long as the implant was not placed too low to start.     Smooth surface implants which do not drop or which appear to move upwards compared to the opposite breast may have scar tissue issues, and a patient should see their plastic surgeon for follow-up to avoid this problem whenever possible.

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast augmentation

Thank you for your question.

It is important to address any post-operative concerns with your plastic surgeon. Swelling after a breast augmentation occurs with 100% of patients. Over the first 6-8 weeks the swelling should begin to resolve and the breasts will start to drop into their pockets and appear more natural and full at the bottom. Every patient heals at different rates, if you have a tight chest if can take a little longer for your breasts to drop and settle in their pockets. If the breasts are too high, the use of a breast binder is beneficial to add downward pressure along with your daily breast massages. Your doctor may also prescribe you a Medrol dose pack (steroid) to help with the swelling. Best of luck in your recovery!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.