Can Post-op Breast Massage Cause Rippling to Occur?

Is it possible for post-op breast massage to cause rippling to occur? I have saline sub-pectoral implants 360-380cc.

Doctor Answers 14

Rippling with implants

Post-op breast massage should have no impact on rippling. RIppling develops because the soft tissue covering over the implant is not sufficient.  Sometimes strattice or pocket repositioning may be the answer.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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Implant rippling with massage

Feeling rippling of the implants usually occurs in the lateral aspect of the implants where the soft tissue coverage is thinner. The rippling is usually do to the scar tissue that forms around the implant. In my experience high profile implants tend to ripple less than other styles and textured surfaced implants tend to ripple more than smooth implants. Massaging the breasts will not likely cause or prevent implant rippling.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Rippling after Breast Augmentation?

Thank you for the question.

Palpability  and rippling of breast implants may be related to several factors. These include the amount of soft tissue and breast tissue coverage over the breast implants, the position of the breast implants (submuscular versus sub glandular), the type of implants (saline versus silicone), and the degree of overfilling of saline filled implants. Generally, weight loss will extension weight any rippling/palpability  of the implants.  Deflation of the implants will also increase the rippling/palpability of the implants.

Correction of the rippling may involve further surgery including implant pocket exchange if possible ( sub glandular to submuscular), implant exchange if possible (saline to silicone), and/or the use of allograft to provide an additional layer of tissue between the implant and the patient's skin. Patient weight gain (if possible) may also be helpful.

Generally postop breast massage is not “cause” rippling to occur.

I hope this helps.

Rippling and massage

There should be no impact on rippling as a result of massaging your breasts following surgery. Rippling is usually related to other factors, such as thin skin and sub mammary placement.

Rippling & Post-Operative Massage

There is absolutely no way that rippling is caused by massage. Rippling can be seen both in silicone and saline implant patients and is usually due to lack of enough breast tissue over the implant, an implant that may be displaced or hardened (contracture), or an implant that is oversized for the amount of breast tissue.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast Augmentation

All implants have wrinkling.  If you visit your surgeon's office to try on sample implants, whether saline or silicone, they all wrinkle when you hold them in your hand.  Wrinkling is less obvious with silicone implants.  Your tissue is evidently thin enough, even though part of your implants are under your chest muscles, to allow the wrinkling to be visible.  You could consider changing to gel, but wrinkling may be part and parcel of having the implant, especially if you are thin.  Sorry you are having trouble.  All the best, "Dr. Joe"


Rippling of breast implants not caused by implant massage

Rippling and wrinkling of a saline breast implant has to do with "tissue cover" not massaging. Patients that have thin tissues or patients that have implants placed on top of the muscle (which causes there to be "less" tissue on top of the implant) are the two main reasons patients get rippling or wrinkling.  This is not related to breast implant massage.  I recommend placing silicone gel implants under the muscle to minimize and avoid wrinkling or rippling.  I hope this helps!


James F. Boynton, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Rippling is caused by the implant


There are several irregularities that can occur after a breast augmentation.  Rippling is a term that usually refers to the irregularities seen from saline implants.  This can happen when the breast tissue, especially laterally (on the side of the breast) is thin.  It is also more common when the saline implant is over-filled.  Massage will not make a difference in either one of these sources of rippling.  Correcting it usually involves replacing the implant with a silicone implant or possible reducing some of the volume of the saline implant if possible.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Breast Implant wrinkling and rippling

Breast implant wrinkling and rippling is not related to implant massage.  Massage does not cause it nor does it worsen it, so continue to massage your implants.  Even though there is no proof that massage helps to prevent capsular contracture (hardening of implants) it does not hurt to continue it!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Rippling breast implants

Rippling often happens when using saline implants in a thin patient.  Breast massage is unlikely to have anything to do with causing or preventing that from happening.  However, many plastic surgeons recommend breast massage after breast augmentation to prevent capsular contracture.  If rippling continues to be a problem, that can be corrected by exchanging the saline implants for silicone gel and placing them under the muscle.  In extreme cases, acellular dermis, a biological compatible tissue matrix, can be placed over the implant to help add coverage and camouflage any ripples.

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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.