What is the drop and fluff process?
Dropping and fluffing refers to the process of implants settling in the breast post-surgery and will vary from person to person. Following any breast surgery that involves the placement of an implant, such as a Breast Enlargement or an Augmented Mastopexy, there will be a degree of tightness and swelling in the chest. When an implant is inserted into the breast, the skin and breast tissue stretch to accommodate the new implant.
Initially the implants can sit quite high on the chest wall and the breasts can appear swollen and slightly pointy. However, over time as the implant settles and the breast tissue begins to heal, the breast takes shape and the lower fullness of the breast increases, this is the drop and fluff process. By 6 weeks post-op the breasts should have dropped and fluffed and be a full rounded shape. However, every breast is different and some are more naturally pointy and some have a wider gap in between the cleavage - a breast enlargement, is essentially an enlargement of the breasts you already have.
It is important to point out that drop and fluff isn’t something that literally happens overnight. While the initial change may be very recognisable, you are likely to see smaller changes on a day-to-day basis. Your breasts can continue to change for up to 1 year post-op.
When do implants drop and fluff and why does this happen?
Just like any other medical procedure, your body has to heal from the surgery. The drop and fluff process happens as your breasts are healing and settling from your cosmetic surgery procedure. Dropping and fluffing should happen to every patient who has breast implants; everyone heals at different rates and it's important to remember that your breasts are sisters, not twins and that one breast can heal quicker than the other. Some patients might experience the drop and fluff quite early on, whereas it might take past 6 weeks for other patients to fully settle. Try not to compare yourself to others as, every body is unique, therefore every healing journey is slightly different!
Is dropping and fluffing more likely with overs or unders?
Breast implants can be placed over the muscle and behind the breast tissue, this technique is referred to as subglandular placement. This placement is often recommended to patients who already have a good amount of natural breast tissue present to cover the implant and provide a smooth contour. This technique is often less painful and has a shorter recovery time than others, therefore the drop and fluff process usually occurs in the first few weeks of recovery, however it is important to remember that everyone heals at their own rate.
Partial implant placement, often referred to as subfascial placement is when the implant is placed between the connective tissue and the muscle. This method helps to reduce the chances of rippling and prevents the appearance of a prominent profile.
Breast implants can be placed under the muscle, this technique is referred to as submuscular placement and is recommended to patients who don't have much natural breast tissue. This technique is a popular choice as it helps to reduce the chances of rippling and capsular contracture, however this placement can be more painful during recovery and take longer to heal. Therefore, patients who have implants under the muscle or partials, are more likely to experience a slower drop and fluff process. Surgeons may ask their patient to wear a breast band to assist with implant placement throughout healing.
Drop and fluff timeline
What to expect during your implant healing journey:
- Weeks 1-3: Your breasts may appear cone-like with enlarged or puffy nipples. You may experience a lack of nipple sensitivity or hypersensitivity. Your implants will sit high on the chest wall and your skin may feel tight and shiny.
- Weeks 4-5: Your implants will begin to settle as they drop and fluff. Each breast can drop and fluff and heal at different rates.
- Week 6+: The initial upper fullness of your breasts will decrease and lower fullness of the breasts will take shape.
- Up to 1 Year: Generally, implants have settled into their new natural shape.
Ask an expert
MYA surgeon Mr Mileto explains how the drop and fluff process can vary between patients.
MYA patient experience
MYAGirl Aston, shares her experience of the drop and fluff process following breast enlargement surgery.