Every year, more and more women are considering a breast augmentation to attain larger, fuller, and firmer breasts. The procedure utilizes breast implant placement to achieve these goals. With so much attention on procedure and results, too little focus is paid to the all-important recovery phase before surgery. Because understanding the recovery process is crucial to achieving the patient’s desired outcome, we feel it’s important to stress the reality of “drop and fluff.”
The terms refer to what happens to the breast implants during the first few months after surgery. This information can resolve the anxiety which often happens during this period.
After surgery, the implants tend to ride hide and appear small due to the patient’s skin tightness in the area. There is tightness because the implants increase dimension to breast tissue causing the skin to compress the implant’s shape and size. Over time, the underlying muscle and overlying skin begin to conform to the implants and stretch. Then the implants begin to settle or “drop” into a lower position, creating a more natural appearance.
After dropping, the implants relax or “fluff” into the lower breast areas, taking on the natural teardrop shape which is more projected. The breasts begin to look larger with normal contours, taking on the appearance the patient had in mind when she started the process. Results will continue to improve during recovery as swelling subsides and breast appearance improves.
Here is a timeline of what breast augmentation patients can expect during recovery relating to drop and fluff:
After one week there will be soreness in the chest area. Tightness will be prevalent especially during deep breathing with discomfort on the upper abdominal wall. Oral medication is available to manage any pain and make the process more comfortable.
Swelling and bruising around the implants is normal so the implant contour will be less defined until the swelling subsides. The patient may also experience some swelling and bruising on the upper abdominal area.
Most swelling and bruising should subside after two weeks, and tissue will begin to relax. The implants will drop continuously for six weeks and begin to fill in the lower breast area.
Implants should start to find their permanent position after three months. Although recovery may last up to one year, the results should become visible and appealing at this time. Incisions will start to fade in the months which follow.
After recovery, breasts should appear natural, with a teardrop shape and an upward curve of the nipple. The implants will be settled into their permanent position projecting a larger, firm, and youthful breast contour. The incisions will initially fade to pink, then become close to normal skin tone.
To learn more about breast augmentation, what to expect during recovery, and “drop and fluff” call Dr. Montante today.