How to Fix Breast Rippling 2 Years After Breast Augmentation?

I have a rippling of the left breast and also some mild pain though I don't think that there is a difference in size. What is procedure to fix rippling breast? Will it mean another surgery? I just had this done in May 2007.

Doctor Answers (14)

Rippling is a difficult problem

Rippling is very difficult to fix, even with surgery.  It is not possible to fix rippling without surgery.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Ripples after a breast augmetnation

Most likely you will need some type of procedure to correct the issue. It may require change in the location of the implant to below the muscle, it might require the use of a material called acellular dermal matrix to place between the skin and the implant to thicken the skin up, or a change to a form stable implant or at times small volume fat injections can be done in a series to make the ripples look less visible. I think seeing your original surgeon to see which option is best suited for your case is the best idea at this point.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

You might also like...


Rippling requires surgery to fix - the best procedure depends on the type of implants you have, how thin you are, and the placement of your implants. Best to go back to your surgeon to discuss your options.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Rippling and palpability of breast implants


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.
Having discussed these issues,  PREVENTION of rippling/probability is of critical importance.
Much of the final “look” achieved after breast augmentation surgery  depends on several factors:

1. The initial shape, size (volume of breast tissue), symmetry of the patient's breasts. In general, the better the  preoperative breast appearance the more likely the breast augmentation “look” and "feel" will be optimal.

2. The experience/skill level of the surgeon is important in determining the final outcome. For example, the accurate and gentle dissection of the breast implant pockets are critical in producing  long-term  well-placed breast implants. I personally think that these 2 factors are more important than any others, including type (saline or silicone)  or model (low/moderate/high profile)  of implant.  Make sure you're working with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

3. The type of implant used may  determine the final outcome, especially if the patient does not have significant covering breast or adipose tissue. For example, some surgeons feel that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants because silicone gel has a texture that is similar to breast tissue. Each patient differs in the amount of breast tissue that they have.  If a patient has enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the final result will be similar when comparing saline implants versus silicone gel implants.  If a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.
On the other hand, saline implants have some advantages over silicone implants. Silicone implant ruptures are harder to detect. When saline implants rupture, they deflate and the results are seen almost immediately. When silicone implants rupture, the breast often looks and feels the same because the silicone gel may leak into surrounding areas of the breast without a visible difference.  Patients may need an MRI to diagnose a silicone gel rupture.   Saline implants are also less expensive than the silicone gel implants.
Other differences involve how the breast implants are filled. Saline implants are filled after they’re implanted, so saline implants require a smaller incision than prefilled silicone breast implants.
On May 10, 2000, the FDA granted approval of saline-filled breast implants manufactured by Mentor Corporation and McGhan Medical. To date, all other manufacturers’ saline-filled breast implants are considered investigational.
As of 2006, the FDA has approved the use of silicone gel implants manufactured by the Mentor Corporation and Allergan (formerly McGhan) for breast augmentation surgery for patients over the age of 22.

4. The size and model of breast implant used may  make a  significant difference in the final outcome,  including the presence of rippling/palpability  of the implants.
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 789 reviews

Minimizing the rippling


Rippling occurs when the overlying breast tissue is thin.  There are several ways to diminish the rippling: 1) Placing the implants subgladular pocket to submuscular pocket, 2) Overfilling of the saline implants although this will make your breasts fill firmer, 3) Switching the saline implants to silicone implants, 4)Fat grafting into breast tissue.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

How do diminish rippling


You best opton to diminsh rippling of the implant is to consder the use of high profile silicone getl filled implants.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Several options for breast rippling


Different options available to fix rippling:

1. Change implant to gel if you have saline.

2. Change pocket to under the muscle.

3. Use alloderm or similar material.

4. Fat grafting between the capsule and the skin.

Your plastic surgeon will be able to choose the best option for you. Best of luck!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Consider fat grafting if these other procedures won't work.


After all of these techniques the other doctors have suggested, you may still have ripples because you have such thin breast tissue and fat. I have had some reasonable luck in such cases with fat grafting over the area where the ripples show. Even in thin women you can usually find some amount of fat on the medial thighs.

Carl W. 'Rick' Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

It depends on your exam and implants


Rippling is typically due to thinner tissues and is more common with saline implants. It is difficult to provide more thickness to your tissues although there is a material that can be placed called Alloderm but unfortunately it is quite expensive to use. If you have a saline implant now you might consider changing to a cohesive gel implant. Although not yet FDA-approved, the "gummy bear" silicone implant is even less apt to ripple. Visirt your plastic surgeon to see what your options are. Best of luck.

Dr Edwards

Michael C. Edwards, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.