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 21

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.

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.

3 weeks post breast implants, questions

Thank you for the photos. You are way too early to make any statements about the final result. They usually start to descend at about three weeks. In general it may take 6 months to a year or so to have the implants finally fall into place. Best that you communicate with your board certified plastic surgeon and let him/her know what is going on. Every surgeon may have their own protocol for message, etc;.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 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.

I would recommend revision after 3 months if needed

Your right implant pocket is too high and too tight. You will need revision because of the implant position and lack lower breast pole expantion.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Implant Will Drop

Thank you for your question.

The final shape of your #breasts will start to look its best approximately three months after #augmentation surgery. It takes time for the skin and muscle to stretch and relax around the new #implant. The breast will often look higher, firmer, and “less natural” in the first three months. It can take up to a year to see your final result. Have patience.  If you are concerned, ask questions of your #boardcertified plastic surgeon.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

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.

Christopher J. Ewart, MD
Augusta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

When Breast Implants Drop

It’s not unusual for patients to have transient asymmetry following breast augmentation surgery. In the vast majority of cases, asymmetry resolves with the passage of time. In most cases, it’s related to swelling, skin tightness, and muscle spasm. Superiorly malpositioned breast implants usually drop into normal position as swelling and muscle spasms disappear. In some cases, this may take as long as two to three months to occur.
Superior compression bands and mechanical massage may help breast implants drop more quickly. These maneuvers apply downward pressure on breast implants and help expand the inferior breast pocket. It’s important to realize that the majority of breast implants will eventually drop into normal position without any treatment.
In rare cases, surgical expansion of the breast pocket may be necessary but shouldn’t be undertaken for at least six months following surgery. This allows adequate time for conservative measures to work.
In someone who is only three weeks post-op, this type of asymmetry isn’t unusual. It’s important to maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon. Your plastic surgeon should be able to discuss your concerns and alleviate your anxiety.

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.