Breast Implants, Week 1: Is This Normal?

When I call my breast augmentation patients the day after surgery or examine them at their first post-op visit, they want to know one thing: Is this normal?

They phrase that question in many different ways:

Is it normal for my implants to be so high?
Will my implants soften up and squish together?
Is it okay that one of my breasts is up higher than the other?
Is it too soon to be judging my final shape and size?
Did you give me the implant size I asked for? 

My answer to all of the above: Yes!

It’s way too soon to be evaluating breast implant size and position. When breast implants are placed beneath the pectoral muscle, the muscle presses the implant flat (like your hand could compress a sponge ball or a balloon) and the implant needs a place to go.

The implant’s space is limited on three sides – by the breastbone, the outside edges and the bottom of the breast – so it moves toward the area of least resistance: the collarbone and the armpit. That’s why your breasts are up “so high.”

One breast often heals at a different rate from the other, and one side might feel harder and be pressed up higher than the other.

Breast implants need time to “drop and fluff.” The term refers to what happens to your implants as your skin stretches and your muscles relax. The implants move downward and outward sloooowly – about 1 percent a day. Watching their progress is like watching your hair grow. You don’t see a difference in your hair growth daily, but all of a sudden you need a haircut. Watch our “drop and fluff” video.

It’ll be about six weeks before your breast implants even begin to settle down and take on a more natural shape. Your breasts will be close to 80 percent settled and softened at three months.

It’s best to wait at least eight weeks before making a major investment in new bras. It takes that long for your augmented breasts to begin to settle into their new size and shape. At that time, you will be able to more accurately determine your postoperative size and get a truer fit.

Read our blog: “What to Expect the First Week After Cosmetic Breast Surgery.”

Be patient after surgery. Think of it like those road signs you sometimes see: “Temporary inconvenience; permanent improvement.” Give yourself a few months to see the final result. The permanent improvement will be worth the wait! Till then, here are some comments from breast augmentation patients who have completed the journey:

  • “I used to hate lingerie and bathing suit shopping. Now I love it. In fact, all my old bathing suits looked brand new this summer.”
  • “I love my new figure. It is so nice to not have to worry about padding my bra anymore.”
  • “Now I can wear anything I want and feel comfortable, sexy and once again confident.”
  • “I look as good underneath my clothes as I do in them.”
  • “Friends know something is different about me but they can’t pinpoint what it is. They say things like, ‘You look great. Are you just back from vacation?’ or ‘That’s a cute outfit. Is it new?’ I like to keep them guessing.”