When breast implants don’t settle

When breast implants don’t settle

02nd Sep 2017


Women who consider getting a breast implant surgery must understand that implants change over time. A majority of patients often misunderstand changes such as implant settling, bungling, and drooping, and these results may not be seen immediately.

The breasts will initially remain raised, often leading patients to express their dissatisfaction. It is important to understand that implants need time to settle or fall into the ideal place and position. If your breasts seem high right after the surgery, it is only temporary.

The implants need time to accommodate to the new environment before settling. It may take more than 6 months for the full result to materialize. Even though most implants fall into the intended place, position, and shape during this time, in rare cases, they may refuse to settle.


The behavior of breast implants

In order to know why some breast implants fail to settle, it is important to understand how they behave and evolve. When the implants are placed in the intended pockets inside the breasts, they are located higher on the torso. The implants will remain in this position and location during the recovery period that can extend over several weeks.

If the implants have been placed under the breast muscle, it will start to stimulate the muscle and put pressure on the breast tissue. After a few weeks, the breast implant will begin to settle. The breasts will gradually fall, and once the implants settle the breast muscle will feel relaxed.

Causes for failure

Most implants settle gradually, but not all the time. A successful settling depends on a number of factors, such as the implant type, placement, position, and size. The proportions of your chest and breast tissue are also determining factors.

Implants can either be positioned under the breast muscle or over it. Majority of plastic surgeons prefer to place the implants under the breast muscle to get maximum tissue coverage. Placement under the breast muscle has been proven effective and safe, but there is a risk that the implants may not settle properly. Under normal circumstances, the implants should settle between 3-6 months after surgery. If your implants do not settle during this period, you should see your doctor.

On the contrary, when implants are placed over the breast muscle, they will easily settle. Their settling speed is relatively higher than that of implants placed under the breast muscle. The type of placement best for you will depend on different factors such as your surgeon’s preference, your anatomy, your aesthetic goals, breast implant size, availability of enough tissue coverage, and type of implant.

It is important to understand that the implant size, type, outline, and surface play critical roles in determining the implant’s behavior inside your body during recovery period. Your surgeon may either recommend you to get silicone or saline breast implants. These are the two major categories of implants available in the market right now. You can find different shapes and sizes of implants under both categories, including round and teardrop shaped implants, with and without textures. It has been noted that the round implants settle faster and more properly than teardrop implants.

If the size of the implant does not fit your chest dimensions, you are at higher risk of settling failure. This is why picking the right size of implant that can fit chest dimensions is important. Experienced and qualified plastic surgeons can help you choose the implant size that can best fit you. Very large or very small implants have higher tendency not to settle. Implants that fail to settle necessitate an additional surgery to fix the condition.

Helping breast implants to settle

You can help your breast implants settle by asking your plastic surgeon for tips. Your doctor may even prescribe you medicines to expedite the settling process. These prescriptions can help your breast muscles relax and help the implants fall into place. Another effective way is by using breast massage therapy after surgery. Medical massages are different from regular massages and are performed by specialists. This type of massage will help your breast muscles relax and make space for the implants to fall into place.


It is important for you to understand that the results of your breast augmentation will not be apparent right after surgery. Your implants will need time to settle, and this should not be a cause for panic or concern.

In rare cases, implants fail to settle. This happens for many reasons, including very large implants, wrong implant type, wrong placement of implant, an unskilled surgeon, very strong breast muscle, and implant shape that does not go well with your breasts’ environment. If your implants fail to settle even 6 months after the surgery, you should contact your plastic surgeon.

You can help your breast implant settle by asking your plastic surgeon for tips to expedite the process. However, make sure to ask for the tips right after the surgery. Certain medications and breast massage therapies can help settle your breast implants.

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