Natural breasts come in all different shapes, sizes and levels of softness/firmness.
It’s fair to say that the ‘feel’ (as in, how soft or firm they feel) of your breasts with breast implants will be different to the feel of your breasts before a breast augmentation surgery.
firmness BEFORE breast implants
What your breasts ‘feel’ like before you get implants will be determined by your own unique ‘existing anatomy’ (basically, what you bring to the breast table!).
The main things that determine how soft or firm natural breast tissue is are:
The amount of fibrous (dense) breast tissue you have - the more fibrous tissue you have the firmer your breasts will feel.
What your life experiences are - losing and gaining weight, pregnancy and nursing, and aging all impact on how firm your natural breast tissue is.
You may be thinking about getting breast implants to restore some of the youthful, fullness to your breasts.
Breast firmness IMMEDIATELY AFTER surgery
I’m not going to lie, your breasts straight after surgery will be…. interesting…
The early bit post-op (hours, days and the first few weeks) is about healing so bare in mind that your early post-surgery breasts will be: swollen and likely funny-shaped. The trauma of surgery causes the swelling and you’ll experience this as tightness and firmness. Some women liken the feel of their early post-op boobies to be like ‘rocks in their chest’!
It can be a little frustrating not to go from your pre-surgery boobies to the boobs-of-your-dreams but know that the early super firmness is totally normal and… things will change (and, crucially, soften) as you heal.
Breast firmness AS YOUR IMPLANTS SETTLE
So, there’s this ‘settling-in’ phase with implants where your body is recovering from the trauma of surgery and your breast implants move in to the pocket your surgeon has made inside the breast.
You may hear this settling-in phase called dropping and fluffing.
Over a period of weeks (and sometimes months - generally up to 6-months post-op) you’ll notice the swelling subside and as things heal your breasts (not your breast implants, they stay the same firmness) soften more and more.
As your breasts soften after surgery you may notice this most in the shape of your breasts. Some women find it really useful to catalog their progress post-op visually by taking photos at intervals post-op.
firmness WITH Breast Implants longer-term
Once everything has settled down and you’re fully healed after surgery you will be in the butterfly-out-of-the-chrysalis phase with your breast implants.
Hello, new boobies!
This is the confidence-boosting bit women who choose to get a breast augmentation talk about! Life with your new breasts = confidence. The earliest you should be judging your final result after surgery is at the 6-month mark.
At this point (depending on the breast implants you chose) the firmness of your breasts will be your new level of breast firmness.
Sometimes it could turn out that this feels too firm to some women and they opt for an implant exchange (a surgery to change the breast implant type/size/shape, etc.) but most women are now at the ‘totally happy with my new breasts’ stage.
If you notice ANY change to the firmness of your breasts - specifically increased firmness - in either one or both of your breasts once you’re past the early healing phase, please reach out to your surgeon. The most common breast augmentation complication (called Capsular Contracture) presents as increasing breast firmness and sometimes pain. It can be treated but as with many things it’s best to start treatment sooner than later.