When your breast augmentation is over, you won't walk out with soft, fluffy breasts. Before you get those oh-so-excellent final results, your breasts will go through several changes. Here's the general timeline to implant results.
Weeks 1-3: Breasts that sit high, odd shape, and uneven nipples
Your skin and chest muscles look and feel tight. They have been stretched over the implants and require time to loosen up. Post-surgical swelling also amplifies chest pressure, making the breasts feel heavy and engorged. The combination of tense muscles and swelling can also leave breasts feeling hard and sitting high on the chest. They look oddly-shaped—boxy, square, torpedo, significantly round— and the nipples uneven, too.
This is temporary. As swelling subsides and your chest muscles adjust to the implants, the breasts will begin to lower, soften and take on a more appealing shape. Follow the surgeon's instructions regarding weightlifting limits, bra types, scar care, and sleeping positions as this will help ensure your breast results progress.
Weeks 4-5: Breast asymmetry and rounder, softer breasts for some
Your implants look more like breasts now but there's still residual swelling, and with each breast healing at its own rate, this can cause them to appear different from each other. One breast might be larger or drop lower than the other. This is common when not marked by sagging into the inframammary fold (bottoming out), constriction (capsular contracture), fever and breasts that are warm to the touch (infection), or severe swelling, pain, a lump, or skin darkening (hematoma).
If you have over-the-muscle implants, your breasts may have a rounder, softer shape. If your implants are under the muscle, you may notice that the implants have dropped, the nipple is coming into position, but the sides of your breasts are not yet rounded and feel firm. Breast scars are also still be red, thick, and raised.
Keep following your surgeon's instructions.
Week 6 to month 3: Breasts that are closer to what you want
Your breasts are continuing to take shape, settle, and soften. By month 3, breast implant feel and contour is closer to what you desired. The implants may still be at a high position on the chest. The overall volume of your breasts, however, will be what they are going to be.
It is at this point you can remeasure your bust, redetermine your cup size, and purchase new bras. Select only one to two bras until you're at least 6 months out from surgery.
Breast scars may be lighter, smoother, and flatter. Maintain proper scar care to reduce their appearance and improve their texture.
6-12 months: Drop and fluff, then final results
Around 6 months, your breast implants drop and fluff, a term that signals the implants have lowered, are settling into their final position, and are filling out the lower breast pocket. It also means the breasts are plushier.
You can now increase your bra shopping and selection since less visible changes in shape, softness, and settlement occur after this milestone. At one-year post-op, your breasts complete their transition and breast scars blend into the skin.
Maintain your results by balancing a healthy weight, wearing supportive bras, and following your surgeon's care advice. Keep in mind that pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, breastfeeding and drastic weight fluctuations may alter breast tissue and cause the skin to lax. This can cause the breasts to droop or lose some shape and volume.
See breast implant results for yourself
We can tell you what results look like, or you can check for yourself. Here are some before and after photos of real women who've had breast augmentation.