What's "dropping and fluffing" mean with a BA? Right side hurts more than left. (photos)

Hi! I'm officially 4 weeks post-op and still feeling a little tightness in my right breast. I've been told that implants "drop and fluff" & that's the different feelings I'm experiencing. Although, my left breast hasn't given any troubles at all. Surgery and recovery went well. Minus my right side on the look/tight feeling. When you look at my pictures (right side) - I've highlighted which side I'm concerned about with the week above my problem child. Thanks for the feedback!!

Doctor Answers 5

What's "dropping and fluffing" mean with a breast augmentation?

Congratulations on having undergone the breast augmentation procedure. Generally speaking, breast implants will "drop" into the pocket that was created during surgery and massaging the implants downward may assist in the dropping of the implants after surgery (for those patients who want to help with the settling of the implants). 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.

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. 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. 

 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" during this process.

  Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

What's "dropping and fluffing" mean with a BA? Right side hurts more than left.

Thank you so much for your question. Okay. Looking at your before photos it is clear that you started with some subtle asymmetry of your breasts which most everyone has. Your right brest fold is higher on your chest wall than you left. That means the right breast sits higher on your chest than your left breast. When you augment a breast you augment the asymmetry as well. The left one has begun to drop but the right one is lagging behind a little but it also is just a different shape because it is a different breast. It also looks like your right breast is larger than the left one  in the per operative photos. The difference in appearance of the upper part of your breast is due to what I stated above. The right one sits higher than the left. So, fancy terms like fluff. Basically this is what happens over the first 3 months and more. The skin and muscle will stretch assuming you are sub-muscular. This allows the implants to drop. Smooth implants drop better than textured ones and I have no clue what you have and if they are above or below. Massage can help and really what you need is to let time take over. One month post surgery is super early. This process takes 3 months or more before they drop and feel like "yours" again. I hope this helps. Have a great weekend!Sincerely,DrRickAZ 

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

When do breast Implants Drop and Fluff?

Hi MelissaB,Thanks for your question and photos. Dropping and fluffing happens at different times depending on how the muscle was released from you chest wall. Your right muscle still appears tight. I would wear a bra strap but check with your plastic surgeon. As long as the implant drops when the muscle relaxes you will be fine but if the muscle relaxes and the implant is high then it might end up settling a higher on one side and not the other. Ask your plastic surgeon for advice as an in person examination will help!

All the best,

Carlos Mata MD, MBA, FACS

#breastaugmentation #dropandfluff

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Carlos Mata, MD, MBA, FACS
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision

I appreciate your question. Right now, you are early on in the post op recovery period. It will take 3-6 months for you to feel comfortable having implants in your body and for them to settle. This time allows for you to physically and psychologically adapt to your new body image. There are many variables that contribute to a breast augmentation's final result. Preop size and shape, IMF location, location of the implants and type of implant. Patients heal at different rates and each breast will sometimes heal at a different rate. Rest, relax, recover and heal. Please Express your concerns to your surgeon so he/she can examine you at this time. Then reassess final result at 6 months. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon #RealSelfCORESurgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Breast augmentation - what is dropping and fluffing?

Thank you for asking about your breast augmentation.
  • Here's what's going on -
  • Your implants are under the muscle. The muscle goes into spasm after surgery.
  • As the muscle relaxes after surgery, the implants move down on the chest and settle in place in the breast.
  • This process is called dropping (the implant moves down) and fluffing (the breast fills out.)
  • One implant always settles faster than the other - one side always hurts a bit more.
  • Ideally both implants should settle in 6 weeks but at times, it takes 3-6 months.
  • If they don't settle, then a revision is needed.
  • I ask my patients to go braless if their implants don't quickly settle.
  • You can ask your surgeon if you should try this -but don't do anything s/he doesn't recommend.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 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.