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Are Air Bubbles in Implant Normal?

I have silicone implants (under the muscle) and as I dont have much breast tissue and have gone to 565ccs I am experiencing more rippling and what seems to be an air bubble on the top of my left breast.

I am not worried about the rippling as ive had other implants before, this is my second time. What is concerning me is the air bubble. I can push it in and out and it feels crinkley and crispy.

Is this normal? Will it go away? I had the second surgery (to increase size) 4 weeks ago.

Doctor Answers 8

Do Silicone implants cause rippling?

Most plastic surgeons and breast manufactures say that while saline implants can form ripples, silicone implants do not form ripples. In my clinical experience, as it has also been this young ladies experience, silicone implants can also ripple and it can show if you are very thin or that the implant has not been placed under the muscle.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Air Bubbles After Breast Implant Exchange

At four weeks after surgery, it is not likely that you are truly feeling an air bubble at the top of your breast. That air would have been completely absorbed within weeks after your surgery, most typically by 7 to 10 days after surgery. What you are feeling is the interface of the new implant up against the old and exiting breast capsule. This creates two smooth surfaces up against each other which can be made to slide across each other, creating that crinkly feeling as you manipulate it. This phenomenon may go way with more time as further healing takes place.

Air bubbles after surgery

It is normal for air bubbles to be trapped in tissues after surgery, however they tend to get absorbed over time and at 4 weeks you should not have air bubbles.

If it does happen to be an air bubble it is not within the implant so you do not need to worry about you implant.  It is also possible you're feeling the implant itself.  Sometimes the rippling and folds can be very deceptive and even to an experienced plastic surgeons it may be difficult to determine if a finding is the implant or something else.

Your best course of action is to watch if this goes away and to see your plastic surgeon.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 291 reviews

"Air bubble" 4 weeks after breast implants sounds unusual!

Although this is common in the first few days after breast surgery, by 4 weeks, most patients should have reabsorbed any "extra" air or fluid in the pocket. But I have had patients notice (and sometimes worry) about a breast "sound" that is almost "felt" as much as it is heard. The French call this "Bourdonnement" and this literally translates as buzzing, vibrating, rubbing, etc. This is actually a friction rub, and physicians learn this physical sign in their first medical school classes in which they listen to chest sounds and literally hear irritated, inflamed lung tissues sliding roughly against the inside of the chest cavity, causing the half-heard, half-felt sounds. In your case it is the slick surface of the implant sliding against the incompletely-healed tissue capsule that causes this "crinkly, crispy" sound.

This is entirely normal at this point in your recovery, but I would consider asking your surgeon for an anti-inflammatory such as Celebrex for a week or two, or perhaps a course of ibuprofen. This may be all you need to reduce or eliminate the sound. Inflammation may also be a possible predictor of early capsular contracture, and a leukotriene inhibitor such as Singulair or Accolate may also be a consideration. Best Wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 184 reviews

"Air bubble" after implants

Are you sure it is an air bubble? When was your surgery?  More details would be needed to understand what you are describing. In any event, you should probably review this with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Rippling with silicone implants

The air bubble is not inside the implant so there is nothing to worry about.  The problem with rippling can be improved using acellular dermis to create a sling around the implant.  Good luck!

"Air Bubble" may not be that at all!

If it is truly an "air bubble," the air would be in the pocket around the implant, and will slowly be absorbed and go away.

However, the "crinkling" you are feeling may be the edge of the implant folding and unfolding under the pressure of your finger in an area of your breast that is very thin. If that is the case, there are some alternatives to adding tissue thickness that can include a graft ("acellular dermal matrix," like Alloderm or Strattice), or fat grafting using your own fat.

Have your surgeon check this for you.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Air Bubbles in Implants?

Thank you for the question.

Although you may be feeling the implant close  to the surface  you are not feeling air within the silicone gel implant.  It is likely that you're feeling a “knuckle” of the implant  through an area of the breast tissue where there is least coverage.

Consultation with your  plastic surgeon may be helpful to give you peace of mind and to discuss treatment options.

I hope this helps.


These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.