How Long is Too Long for Breast Implant to Drop?

I am 3 weeks post-op as of June 2. My right implant is still very high on my chest. I had put in 492cc filled to 520cc on that side. I do not believe there is any more swelling as that breast is alot smaller than it was right after surgery. Plus there is an indentation at the top kindof like something is pulling up there. you can see a little in one picture. It is in like the 2 oclock position. I am doing "massaging" as much as I can. Does it seem like something is wrong??

Doctor Answers 22

Continue to massage and give it more time

After placing implants under the muscle, the muscles contract and create a temporary elevation of the implants. In addition, there is swelling and the skin is tighter than it will be months later. As the swelling resolves and the skin and muscles relax, the implants will settle into a more natural position. Continue with the massaging and with normal activities the implants will settle more. You can check this link to see photos of a patient's breast augmentation over 9 months.

Augusta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Will my implant drop?

If your implant originally was down in a better position and now has raised up, then you have a capsular contracture and it will not go back down without some intervention.  If your implant has always been high, especially if always higher than the opposite breast, then it was positioned too high and will not come down without surgical intervention.  Certainly patients will have swelling in the early couple of weeks, and this can cause some fullness in the upper breast (usually symmetrical) that resolves over that period...even with this, however, the implant should still be down where it belongs and filling out the lower pole of the breast.  If skin and breast tissue are tight preoperatively, it may take a while for this tissue to stretch under the weight of the implant, but this does not make the implant sit high...the implant is down where it belongs but the lower pole (between nipple and crease) is tight and hasn't stretched and rounded out yet, and maybe the upper pole will look a little more full until this tissue stretching occurs.  But the implant is still down where it belongs during this process.  In other words, implants do not "drop"...tissues relax, swelling resolves, shape changes, but if the implant is higher than it should be, due to surgical technique issues or due to the development of capsular contracture, it will not drop on its own.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Too early to worry!

It can take 6 months for the implants to drop and settle.  The skin and muscle will accommodate the implants over this time and the breast shape will change.  It is too early to worry at 3 weeks after surgery.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

It takes a few months for implants to "find their home"

A savvy patient told me this, and it's true! It is extremely common for implants to appear full, or high riding, in the upper pole in the first few months after augmentation.  As tissues stretch and adjust, the implant will settle into the pocket better and become dramatically more natural appearing.  Clearly your right looks higher than the left, but time is your best ally, and you may find that this improves on its own. I would say that both breasts will be a bit lower and prettier at six months. Upper breast compression by hand or with a band may help, but is not required for settling to occur.   I would not revise a high riding augmentation until after 6 months, since it may fix itself, and because the result is not as predictable if the position is still changing from the first operation. Your PS can give you more specific information and it is worth a visit to be checked and discuss.

Antonio Gayoso, MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Time Sequence for Breast Implants to Drop

The final results are mostly present including "dropping of the implant" when implants are below the muscle within the first 3 months for most and certainly by a year. 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. 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Breast Asymmetry?

Thank you for the question and picture.

Yes,  I have seen implants “drop” for up to 12 months (or more)  after breast augmentation surgery.  I asked my patients to “pull up on the skin and push down on the implant”  on the side that is slower to settle.  Although it is controversial I think that implant massage and displacement exercises are helpful in keeping the  breasts soft in general.

Continue to follow up your plastic surgeon and make sure you  are not experiencing encapsulation which may result in firmness of the breast  and/or implant malposition.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Too early to see

The full results of your surgery are still not apparent as it generally takes about three to four months. By that time, your breasts will have dropped and tissue expansion will create a more natural breast contour, with more fullness in the lower portion of the breasts. Your implants won't be sitting so high. Please wait until then to evaluate your results.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Post augmentation recovery

Dear twinmom,

Thanks for the photos.  The asymmetry is obvious and I sense your concern.  Be patient.  Massage and time will most likely be your friend.  Best idea is to visit with your PS and ask if there are other modalities available.  Some surgeons will use an adjustable  upper chest elastic garment to help expand your lower pole and help "drop" your implant.  Call Monday.  Good luck 

Craig Harrison, MD, PA
Tyler Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast implants dropping

I agree with what the others have said- it can take 2-3 months, sometimes up to 6 to get them to drop.  You mentioned that you are massaging which is great.  I would make sure your surgeon sees your technique to assure that you are doing it with maximum benefit.  I have seen some patients who think they are doing it right but they are only moving the breast, not the actual implant. You should also consider some type of band that puts continuous pressure over the top of the breasts for the next few weeks since your implants look particularly high.  If they heal in that position then you will need a revision to release the inferior capsule for sure.  Good luck!

Tiffany McCormack, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Do Not Worry About Your Implant Dropping

It takes time for the skin to relax. I recently had a patient who had one breast that was still very high 6 weeks post-op. She was very concerned, but I ensured her that her skin would relax and that her implants would drop. They always do. It can take up to 3 months for both implants to fully drop. She just had to give it time. And surely enough, 3 months post-op she had a final result she was very happy with.

I hope that answers your question. It’s great that you’re doing this research. I always say that the best patients are informed patients.

You might also want to research your options for breast implants. Choosing the right implant is the number one concern among women considering breast augmentation. Did you know, there’s actually a way to select a implant shape, size, and profile that is perfect for you?

A term that I use with my patients for the perfect implant is the “Pony Implant”.

So what do I mean by “perfect”? Well, a Pony Implant has three qualities to it. First, the implant meets your beauty goals. For example, you want to your breasts to look fuller while still appearing natural.

Second, when you chose your Pony Implant, you walk out of your consultation 100% confident that you’ve chosen the right shape and size for you. In other words, you won’t be second guessing your decision, and you won’t be afraid of having gone too big or too small.

And third, after your procedure, you are thrilled with your results, and say, "I’m so happy. This is exactly what I wanted!"

That’s the Pony Implant. And the great news is that there is a simple process to go about finding yours.

This issue of selecting the right implant is so important when it comes to patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction that, again, I really encourage you to learn more about it.

Thank you for reading and best of luck on your journey!

William Rahal, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.