You might have heard of the term “drop and fluff”. You might not have. Either way, if you are planning to have or have had a breast augmentation you need to know what it is. It’s a term used to describe what your breasts and new breast implants do after a breast augmentation. To tell us more about dropping and fluffing and what to expect of your breasts post augmentation, we spoke to Dr Rohit Kumar, Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon.
Completely normal part of breast augmentation recovery
After all your planning, anticipation and then actually having the procedure, you’re super excited about checking out your new boobs only to wake up from the anaesthetic and look down and see some overly high-riding boobs that feel super tight as though they might pop out of your chest. Your muscles will feel tight, you will have swelling and you might freak out a little because you think they don’t look at all like you expected. Relax. You’re not alone.
There are a few things that need to happen to your new boobs after the actual procedure and it takes time. Firstly, they need to settle into their new home. This happens a few ways. Your skin and breast tissues will still be stretching to make room for your new implants. You will also have swelling. As this swelling goes down and your skin and tissues stretch there is what is called dropping – where the implant drops down a little and is not so high in your chest.
The fluffing part is when your breast tissues, muscles and skin stretch to fit your implant a little better whereby the implant will relax and your breasts will feel and look a little softer – “fluffing”.
The main change that you will see happening is the shape of your breasts. Instead of the implant sitting so high in your chest it will (should) relax down to a more natural looking appearance. They might also look slightly smaller as the swelling reduces.
Some women also report having a larger gap in between their breasts at first too. Again, this is often sorted once the dropping and fluffing process occurs.
When does Dropping and Fluffing happen?
There is no definite answer to this and everyone is different. On average it has usually happens between the 3 and 6 month mark, sometimes earlier, but some women report it continuing until up to a year after the procedure. If after this you are still concerned by the shape, size or the position of your breasts you may wish to consult with your plastic surgeon. A really helpful thing to do is to take photos of your new breasts right after your surgery, one week after, a month after and so forth (or more often if you want!). This will allow you to see what’s happening and hopefully have faith in the process.
Also keep in mind that your new boobs may drop and fluff at their own speed, one different from the other. The left might drop and fluff before the right or vice versa. This is also completely natural and nothing to be concerned about.
Dr Kumar explains further. “The amount of “dropping (and fluffing) can be dependent on whether the implant is above the muscle or below it. For submuscular or dual plane techniques this process can take a little longer as the pec muscle is clamping down on the implant itself. This has several benefits but it can also mean that it takes a little longer for the muscles to stretch around the implant.
“I tell my patients to expect a sensation like they’ve done a hundred push ups in a row and that this will settle slowly. It’s like if you were at the gym and stretching your calf muscle after a while either the muscle relaxes or it’s a bit sore so you stop. The implant under the muscle has the same effect but we can’t just stop the stretch so we have to wait till the muscle relaxes and this may take some time.
“Very rarely if conservative manoeuvres (massage, breast support band etc) haven’t worked then your surgeon may need to perform a smaller operation to reposition the implants but as a general rule this is quite rare in the hands of a properly qualified plastic surgeon.”
Is there anything you can do to help the Drop and Fluff process?
Most breast augmentation surgeons suggest massaging your breasts and implants after surgery to help with the swelling and encourage the stretching and relaxing of the skin and breast tissues. Most surgeons would recommend this anywhere from 4 weeks onwards after your surgery.
Some suggest wearing compression garments, and others a sports bra. We would advise listening to your surgeon’s advice and following it to the letter. However, if you are concerned, your surgeon should be available to answer any concerns you have.