What Does "Drop and Fluff" Refer to in a Breast Augmentation? Will They Get Larger?

I Went with 325cc and Wish I Had Went with 350cc. Did I make a mistake? When can I go back for bigger ones?

Doctor Answers 22

Time will improve your breast augmentation appearance, but "drop and fluff" is not a medical term!

After breast augmentation, there is some degree of tightness and surgical swelling, possibly slightly more with submuscular implant placement (most common location). As this swelling diminishes, and as the skin, breast, and muscular tissues stretch and accommodate the implants,  implant position almost always drops to some degree (unless capsular contracture is occurring), and the breasts will become softer and more teardrop in appearance. This, of course, is highly dependent upon the age, breast-feeding history, weight gain-and-loss history, and natural elasticity and collagen content of each woman's breasts, not to mention whether or not the woman's muscles are those of a body-builder or a couch potato. But gravity is pretty much a 100% effect that you can rely upon. This dropping, softening, and settling of implants and breast tissues apparently has been given the non-medical lay terminology "dropping and fluffing."

Until I saw this terminology used on this site, I actually thought "fluffing" was something done to keep male porn actors "ready" for filming. So you won't catch me using this slang term for my augmentation patients.

On a more important note, 25cc is an inconsequential volume increase that you will be bitterly dissatisfied with if you spent the time, money, and surgery to revise. 25cc is LESS than 2 tablespoons and you will be unable to see this difference. I tell my patients that it takes 50-100cc to even begin to see a visible difference, that it takes about 125cc to go up a half a cup size, and 250cc (2/3 of a can of soda) to equal one cup size. Your 325cc implants added about 1 1/3 cup sizes to what you started with--how much larger do you wish to be?

If you really want a visible change larger than what you already have, you must go proportionately larger in your new implants or you will think your surgeon made an error and didn't increase your implants. Of course your surgeon should know this, but patients can be insistent (and wrong), so that is why this needs careful consideration, and at least 3-6 months of time after your initial surgery. Best Wishes! Dr. Tholen


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 220 reviews

Your implants will "drop and fluff"

"Drop and fluff" refers to the fact that as the skin stretches and the muscles relax, the implants move down and out slowly – about 1 percent a day. It’ll be about six weeks before they even begin to settle down, but they’ll be close to 80 percent settled at three months. Watching their progress is like watching your hair grow. You don’t see a difference in your hair growth daily, but all of a sudden you need a haircut.

Be patient after surgery. Give yourself a few months before making a judgment about your surgical results. You won't know the outcome until then.

Ted Eisenberg, DO
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Drop and Fluff

Drop and fluff seems to refer to the process during which breast implants settle and, in so doing, the upper breast fullness decreases and the lower breast fullness increases.  Obviously this is not a medical term but the process it describes is due to stretching of the breast tissue, skin and muscle (if the implant is submuscular).  You have not mentioned how long ago you had your implant surgery but in my experience this settling usually occurs over the first few months.  The breast will not become larger as this occurs but you may see somewhat more projection as the muscle stretches if the implant is behind the muscle.  So make sure to allow an adequate time to pass before you consider another procedure.  Also, adding 25cc to your implants is not likely to make a noticeable change in the size of your breasts so if you do have another procedure you should probably consider a more significant increase.  Be certain to discuss this in detail with your surgeon before making any decisions.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

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What Does "Drop and Fluff" Refer to in a Breast Augmentation? Will They Get Larger?

The phenomenon of “dropping and fluffing” occurs several weeks to several months after breast augmentation surgery.  The breasts appear larger as the implants "settle" lower on the chest wall. The nipple/areola complexes appear higher on the breast mounds as this occurs. Best wishes. 

Drop and fluff after breast implants

There really is no such thing as 'fluff' after breast implants, and the firt time I saw such a term was on this site several months ago with an individual who had a similar question as to when her implants would begin to appear larger. My feeling is you should have let your surgeon know how full you wanted to be, as you have no way to know if you needed the 350, or even a 400 for the look you wish to have. Not much chance for fluffing.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Post op

Two things happen and seem paradoxical. As as the swelling goes down there will be some shrinkage but at the same time as the muscle relaxes your breast projection grows. In general the breast shape and size proportionality improves..

Breast implants initially after surgery when placed in a submuscular position often give superior fullness that corrects itself with time, the "fluff and drop" phenomena. In reality the pectoralis major muscle takes a while to adjust its size to accommodate the implant as well as occasional muscle spasm which keeps the implant projection higher than its final resting shape. Additional variables include:laxity of skin, size difference during prior pregnancies, position of implant,size of muscle, and size of implant.
As the muscle relaxes the projection of the implant often increases and the breast shape improves. Massage and use of a superior placed elastic strap can often make this process go faster.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Drop and Fluff

Dropping and Fluffing is a term (or terms) that refer to the process of the soft tissues of the breast relaxing to accomodate the implants. As this happens the lower pole expands (the distance from the nipple to fold increases while the fold remains in place on the chest wall). With lower breast expansion there is less fullness to the upper breast - the implants have "dropped." I have no idea where the term "fluffing" came from or why it is used to describe this phenemon, but my patients tell me it is so and I believe them!

Drop & Fluff In Reference To A Breast Augmentation - What Does That Mean?

DROP and FLUFF is a colloquial term which I first saw on RealSelf.  This term refers to the process of fluid inside an implant dropping from the upper pole to the lower pole of the implant.  I personally feel that implants in the subpectoral space don't drop due to the high coefficient of friction.  However, fluid especially silicone drops as the muscle and skin in the lower pole of the breast relaxes.  This process takes anywhere from weeks to months. 

Since all subpectoral breast augmentations are truly partially subpectoral, as the fluid descends past the bottom edge of the pectoralis muscle, the expansion of the lower half of the implant is against mostly skin and not muscle, and it expands in all directions leading to the term fluffing. 

Your wishing that you had put in a larger implant is a very common post augmentation comment. However, your desire to put in an implant that is 25 ccs larger will make very little change in the apparent or actual size of your breast.  25ccs is less than one shot glass of silicone or saline.

With reference to your specific question, yes your implants will appear to get larger once the majority of the fluid is in the inferior most portion of your breast implant.  Since you did not tell us how long ago you had the breast augmentation, I would assume it was recent and would recommend you give your implants time to DROP and FLUFF. 
 



 

Drop and fluff after breast augmentation

I am not quite sure what the term drop and fluff is referring to in breast surgery. However, I often tell my patients that it takes several weeks for implants to 'find their home', meaning settle down and look and appear more natural. Immediately after breast augmentation surgery there is tightness and swelling and sometimes more upper pole fullness than a patient desires (or wanted). After a few weeks and as the swelling subsides, the implants settle into a more natural position. Sometimes this upper pole fullness (which the patient has now come to adore) also goes away and the patient can feel as if their breasts got 'smaller'. Remember, the difference between 325cc and 350cc is only a few teaspoons. I would advise you to wait several months (6 or more) before making any decision about going larger. I would caution you to remember that your skin envelope needs to be able to support these implants over the long run and the larger you go, the more stress you place on the skin. This can cause excessive stretching, such as bottoming out.

Antonio Gayoso, MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Drop and fluff

Hi & thank you for your question.
It takes between 3 and 6 months for the breast to drop and settle into position. I recommend waiting at least 6 months to a year before deciding to go bigger. Give yourself time to get used to your breasts. You may find that you are very happy with the size once everything is healed. Best of luck!

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.