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Breast Augmentation, Breast enlargement: What is settling?

Cosmetic breast augmentation or breast enlargement is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures done each years! Statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgery show that this operation is in the top three almost every year. Results and patient satisfaction is usually very high with cosmetic breast surgery.

However, women need to understand that it is not an operation where the breast implants are placed and “presto-chango” you wake up with perfect breasts. It takes time for healing to occur- and that is what this writing will focus on. Breast augmentation or breast enlargement involves putting breast implants behind the muscle. They are almost always placed there. The muscle is the pectoralis muscle predominantly, but also the serratis on the side to a lesser degree.

The placement of breast implants behind the muscle is called sub-muscular breast augmentation or breast enlargement. The muscle provides soft-tissue coverage and improved results. However, the space behind the muscle is very tight at first and it takes time for this space to stretch out.

This process or “stretching” is commonly referred to as breast implant dropping, breast implant settling, and or breast implant drop and fluff! These are layman terms for the changes that occur after this cosmetic breast operation. This stretching out of the muscle does take time- a short period of time usually but sometimes several months or even longer. Most people however can look good in just a couple of weeks! This is true especially in clothing or swim suits, but undressed it can be seen longer.

This process of breast augmentation settling is gradual, because it takes time for the muscles to stretch out and relax. It is similar to the slow changes that happen to the abdominal muscles with pregnancy. However, getting stretch marks in the skin with breast implants is exceedingly rare but more common with pregnancy.

During this process of breast enlargement settling, the breasts will gradually change and soften. The shape and appearance changes also. The breasts tend to slowly look more round and natural. It takes time, so be patient! Sometimes the breasts even look bigger as the muscle relaxes and the implants “come out.”

Breast enlargement settling gradually occurs and the implants “drop” during this process. When this happens the nipple comes down. It might seem unusual but breast implant settling or breast implant dropping occurs inside. So as the breast implant drops- the nipple moves up! This is extremely normal! When breast implants settle this is what happens.

Breast augmentation recovery or breast enlargement recovery has two phases. The first phase is the short period around the actual operation. This is the part unfortunately where pain is involved. However, Dr. Saunders uses a “Pain-Buster” to really decrease this and help make it as pain free as possible. The second phase of breast augmentation recovery is this slow stretching of the tissue and muscle that is called breast enlargement dropping or breast augmentation settling.

This second phase does take time as described above but usually there is no real pain with this phase! Breast massage or breast implant displacement are stretching maneuvers that are done to speed up the breast implant dropping. Dr. Saunders has a breast implant massage technique video that shows this in detail. He also has another educational writing that talks about and explains breast implant massage in detail.

People interested in breast augmentation or breast enlargement or other topics such as breast augmentation cost, breast augmentation recovery, or breast augmentation technique should please call the office for an appointment.

Dr. Saunders is a board certified plastic surgeon who practices exclusively cosmetic surgery. Please check out the breast augmentation before and after photos on our web site. Also, please come in for a complimentary consultation to learn about your choices and options!

Click here to visit our Breast Augmentation photo gallery