How Long Does It Take for Breasts to "Drop" After an Implant Replacement?

I am planning on implant replacments from saline to silicone. My implants are submuscular. I am hoping for a slight increase in size (say half a cup size) and less projection. Is "dropping" the relaxing of the pectoral muscles? How does dropping work with implant replacement, and how long should I expect it to take?

Doctor Answers 19

Implants and dropping

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Implants initially after palcing under the muscle tend to rise because of muscle spasm and contraction. As time goes by( 3-4 months usually) the implants drop into the pocket a little bit better.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Drop after implant replacement

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Dropping can take months. I note that the question asks about implant replacement. It is difficult to assess until swelling has decreased so, while the surgeon may have properly placed the implant, it may take time for the patient to see the final result.

How long does it take for implants to settle after an implant exchange?

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Thank you for your question.  Implant 'dropping' or 'settling' is variable but generally takes several months.  The settling that patients can experience after implants are placed in the submuscular position refers to the relaxation and stretching of the pectoralis muscle, which allows the implants to settle into their proper position.  With implant exchanged or replacements, patients could expect that the settling may occur at a faster rate, however, if you exchanged your implants for a much larger size you could expect that it may take about as long as it did the first time around.  I hope you find this helpful and best of luck!

Do breasts look the same after dropping?

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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.

When Swelling Resolves, Breast Implants Will Drop Into Position

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         The period of time immediately following breast augmentation surgery is characterized by rapid change. During this dynamic phase of healing, swelling, muscle spasm and the healing process itself, all contribute to changes in the appearance of a women’s breast. In some cases, swelling and muscle spasm can displace the breast implants in a superior direction.


         When swelling and muscle spasm resolve, the implants will drop into a more normal position. This can be facilitated by performing implant displacement exercises. Significant progress can be seen in four to six weeks, but changes can be expected up to six months following surgery.


         In patients who have had previous sub muscular breast augmentation, the muscles have already been elevated. In this group, implants seem to drop more quickly.

Revisionary Breast Surgery

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On average, the second breast augmentation procedure is "less recovery" than the first time around.  The "settling" process will be less than the first time but because you are going a larger, there may be SOME settling time.  The size and model of breast implant used may  make a  significant difference in the final outcome. Therefore, it is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" or "top heavy" or "crazy big" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.
I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the breast implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible.
By the way, the most common regret after this operation, is “I wish I was bigger”.

I hope this helps.

" Dropping" After Implant Exchange Happens Very Fast

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When a patient is exchanging their implants out for a larger size, unless it is twice the size of the old implant and the pocket is very tight,  the implants should settle into position withina week or two.  All the hard work has been done with the first surgery, so it generally occurs pretty quick witha simple implant exchange.  I hope this helps.

How Long Does It Take for Breasts to "Drop" After an Implant Replacement

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How Long Does It Take for Breasts to "Drop" After an Implant Replacement? The safe answer is 6-9 months.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Settling of breast implants

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As a general rule, "settling" of the breast occurs more quickly after a redo of your implants as compared to first operation. However, if you go with a much larger size implant, then you might experience a "settling" period similar to what you experienced your first go-round.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon

"Drop" after an implant replacement

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No need to be concerned about the drop of the replaced implants. Especially if you use a smaller size. Immediate effect will be seen.


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.