What does dropping and fluffing of the breast mean? Do the settle and look bigger or settle and get softer?

Doctor Answers 11

What does dropping and fluffing of the breast mean? Do the settle and look bigger or settle and get softer?

I know right. I kind of hate that when docs use that termanolgy. Its so odd sounding. What that means is in the beginning the muscle and skin are still tight with a new implant beneath them. Over the course of 3 months the skin and muscle will stretch and the implants will settle into a much nicer shape vs being up high on the chest to start with. In some patients who have a bit more lax skin and muscle to start with this may happen pretty quickly. 

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

"Dropping and Fluffing" after breast augmentation

"Dropping and Fluffing" is a funny non-medical way to say that implants will settle or drop, soften and improve lower shaping over time as your swelling goes down, skin and muscle stretches and gravity takes effect. This can be as soon as a month after surgery or longer at 3-6 months depending on size of implant used, how tight your skin was before surgery and the pocket used. 

Jennifer Geoghegan, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

What does dropping and fluffing of the breast mean? Do the settle and look bigger or settle and get softer?

You are absolutely right. The "drop and fluff" is a term that refers to the process of the implants settling. Early after surgery the implants are high and settle over the course of 3-6 months. As they settle, the bottom of the breast develops a more rounded and natural appearance. The breasts tend to look larger with time. The included link shows the recovery process for a woman after an augmentation surgery. At the bottom you'll see how the implants settle dramatically in the first six weeks. 

Drop and fluff defined.

Let me refer you to an answer I wrote over 4 years ago, to this EXACT question. It's one of my highest "liked" answers. Click on the web reference link below. Best regards! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 240 reviews

What does dropping and fluffing of the breast mean?

It is a meaningless expression. I suspect it refers to the fact that breast implants look a little high and flat at first and as the swelling goes away and the soft tissues relax the fullness of the implant will look a little lower in the breast (neither the breast nor the implant drop anywhere) and a little more projecting, ie less flat. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What does dropping and fluffing of the breast mean? Do the settle and look bigger or settle and get softer?

Though I don't use that expression and have only heard it on RS, I tell my patients that a few things happen during the early months of healing.  Swelling decreases, skin relaxes and implants generally settle somewhat creating a better look.  Occasionally, one implant "drops" before the other (usually only a week or a few weeks different) but the result at 6 months is generally better and better looking than at 2-4 weeks after the procedure.


Jon A Perlman MD FACS 

Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery 

Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV

Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016 

Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Drop and Fluff

As the implants settle with time into the pocket, the breasts tend to look fuller and rounder and the implants tend to get softer.  This process usually takes between 3-6 weeks, but can take 3-6 months.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

What does dropping and fluffing of the breast mean?

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. It is very common for one side to settle faster than the other.

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.  Understandably, patients often experience significant emotional "ups and downs" around the time of surgery.

 Best wishes.



Breast implants: Drop and fluff means they settle and get softer

"Drop and fluff" refers to the fact that as the skin stretches and the muscles relax, breast implants move down and out slowly – about 1 percent a day. It’ll be about six weeks before the implants 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. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths."

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews


Augmented breasts will be very firm immediately after surgery but generally as they settle it is a process of softening not changing size - this softening occurs over 6-12 weeks

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.