How the Breasts Change after Augmentation Surgery

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Breast augmentation is a popular plastic surgery that is performed to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. The entire purpose of the procedure is to change the breasts, but patients may be a bit surprised when they discover just how this all takes place. While enlargement is the expected outcome of breast augmentation, patients may be taken aback at their first follow-up when they see their surgical results for the first time. At this visit, the breasts often look very firm and very high, making them then look larger than anticipated. This is a normal occurrence, so we will discuss here how the breasts settle over time. 

How Breast Implants Settle

High-sitting breasts after breast augmentation are very normal, even more so when implants are inserted sub-muscularly. The high-seated position is a result of tightness around the implants. Natural fatty tissue and skin can cause this to some degree, but we see it more frequently with under-the-muscle placement primarily because muscle tissue is denser and more inflexible than fat and skin. Until the muscle can acclimate to the shape of the implants, it is relatively tight around them, pressing them upward and creating a somewhat unrealistically voluminous upper pole.

Over time, the muscle gradually relaxes its tightness around the implants. As this happens, the breast implants can drop into a more natural position. We call this settling or “dropping and fluffing.” The second term, dropping and fluffing, describes the descent of breast implants into their natural pocket and the slight spreading that happens across the lower region of the breast. The result of breast implant settling is a beautifully natural appearance. 

How and When Does Settling Occur?

Something that breast augmentation patients should be aware of is that settling doesn’t happen the same way for everyone. So, if you are scheduled for breast augmentation and you have a friend who has had the same procedure, don’t expect your recovery to be exactly the same. Often, patients notice that one breast settles more quickly than the other. Asymmetry is very common and will resolve as the breasts shift into their natural shape. In the meantime, patients must be, well, patient. 

Breast augmentation is one of Dr. Salzman’s most frequently-performed procedures. To schedule your consultation, call our Louisville office at 502-425-5200.

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