I Had Breast Augmentation Surgery 8 Weeks Ago and my Right Implant Still Hasn't Dropped? (photo)

I had Breast Augmentation Surgery 8 weeks ago and my right implant still hasn't dropped enough to line up evenly with my left breast. My left breast looks great and has completely settled. My right implant has dropped some but is still a lot higher than my left and I still have some saggy skin at the bottom of my right breast. How long does it normally take? Should I be concerned? Saline Implants, Smooth Round under the muscle

Doctor Answers 16

Right implants hasn't dropped yet--this is pretty common; here's what to do!

At 8 weeks post-op it's good to hear that your left implant has dropped into what you feel is "completely settled" position and "looks great." Your right implant is still somewhat high, and the "saggy skin" is actually your incompletely-filled breast skin. As your right implant drops into optimal position, this will gradually diminish and look much more like your left breast now does.

The fact that breast implants drop, soften, and settle at different rates is more common than not, simply because there may be asymmetry in muscle bulk (R handed-ness?), post-op swelling (perhaps faster absorption if you are L-handed), or simply slightly more bruising, bleeding, or scar formation on the R compared to the L. Truly normal, and quite common, actually!

At this point in time, if your surgeon is not already doing so, I would recommend not only upward implant movement exercises to stretch and soften the muscles and your implant pockets, but adding downward stretch exercises to the R capsule. I have my patients do these implant movement exercises (often incorrectly called "massage") every few hours at first, then several times per day after several weeks, but continuing until position is equalized. (Then a supportive bra to slow any further "dropping' as tissues heal and scars mature.) I would also have you wear an elastic bandeau above your R breast and below the L (assuming your L is exactly where you and your surgeon want it to be) at night--wear a T-shirt over the bandeau and safety pin it to the T-shirt to keep the elastic strap where you want it. The asymmetric pressure will help stretch your high R implant pocket and allow the implant to drop into progressively better position!

Until your capsule scar matures (fades and softens just like your external incision scar), you can still actively "modify" it with stretching and pressure. Average scar maturation takes 7 months, according to wound healing studies. Individual patients vary, but at 8 weeks, you still have a great opportunity to improve your "final" look for the nest several months! Be patient--sometimes this is slow, but usually effective!

If things don't look like you want by 6-8 months post-op, then re-operation would likely be recommended. You may want to consider switching to softer, more natural-feeling (and less ripply) cohesive silicone gel implants at that time. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

It takes more time

It will take a minimum of 3-4 months for the muscle to stretch and your breasts to look natural.

Gregory Sexton, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Implants settling after breast augmentation

I believe that you have to utilize an aggressive regiment for "high riding" implants after augmentation. I utilize an aggressive implant displacement ("massage") program as well as having my patients wear a "strap" to facilitate implants settling.  Finally, I believe that you should not be wearing a bra or sports bra at night to help them come down. After 3 months, if they do not come down, they usually don't change a lot at that point. The skin is still "expanding" and getting used to the implants and when you select a larger implant size sometimes it takes longer and you have to work a little harder for the implant to settle.  In rare cases after 3 months, if the implant is still high, then I usually recommend going back to surgery to correct the malposition. I hope this helps!

James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

High Riding Implant after 8 Weeks

   Two implants rarely drop at the same time.  Aggressive downward massage starting at the pec tendon helps in this regard as does a bandeau.  Give yourself at least 6 months.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Right implant still high 8 weeks post op.

Thank you for the photos, especially pre operative.  You are still early in your post operative course. Breast implants tend to start dropping into place after 3 to 4 weeks. They usually will get to their final position in 6 to 12 months. One will usually drop faster than the other, and the shape may go through changes.  Please follow your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon's post op instructions. For example; we like message, but some surgeons will have you wait, or do it in a specific manner. Please let them know your thoughts and concerns.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Bra strap, massage, possible lift

Thank you for your question. You may want to consider a bra strap to influence the decent of the implants within the breasts over the first six months after surgery as it usually takes several months for the breasts to settle out. You can also try aggressive breast massage with most of the effort being directed at moving the implant downwards.  You may also want revisit with your surgeon once the implants settle and consider a lift to move the nipples to a higher position.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Saline Below Muscle Breast Implant Drop Rate

Your final results following a breast augmentation 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. 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.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Wait three to four months

When implants are first inserted, they sit high up because your tissues are tight and gravity hasn't taken effect. Over time, natural tissue expansion occurs to allow the implants to fall into place. By this time, your breasts will have taken on a more natural contour, where the lower breasts become softer and rounder. Please wait at least four months for this to happen.This process tends to occur sooner in one breast than the other, so don't be alarmed if you find that your left drops before the right or vice versa.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Time is required for a full drop of breast implants

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for sharing your photos.

From what it appears, your right breast is taking longer to meet the pace of the left breast.

With that perspective, at 2 months post-op mother nature can help out in that matter and patience is required from your end.

It is not uncommon that with the same patients, different breast implants settle in their natural pocket at difference pace and it seems that you are one of them.

At this point, it is best to wait till you achieve full recovery before worrying.

Meanwhile, it is crucial that you follow your surgeon's instructions religiously while you keep communicating with him/her.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for your inquiry and the best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Asymmetry 2 months after breast augmentation

Thanks for sharing your photos.  Usually left and right implants settle at a different rate in their pockets.  You should continue with implant massaging; it may take another month or two for the implants to settle in their final position.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 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.