Do I have to replace my breast implant if it's rippling but doesn't bother me? (Photo)

Hello, I'm almost 3 months post op. Since the beginning my left breast always have me more problems than the right. In terms of pain and recovery time. I have round silicon under the muscle. 350cc in right and 375cc in left. Since the beginning I feel the outer side of my left breast a bit bumpy I think it is rippling. It doesn't bother me because I can't see it, only feel it. So do I HAVE to change them if they don't bother me? Does rippling affect my implants shelf life or can I keep them?

Doctor Answers 11


All implants are compressible and have ripples (some more than others) which is more an issue of your tissue coverage than the implant. Rippling poses no elevated risk, so it's fine to ignore rippling with regards to any issue relating to your safety. There is no data that suggests that rippling alone leads to shorter shelf life.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


The lower outer quadrant of the breast is usually where there is the least amount of coverage in the average breast augmentation. This is why I usually lift a cuff of muscle to protect this area. In your particular case this amount of rippling  appears to be well tolerated. You do not have to have any adjustments at this time. Reasons to have a future adjustment would be visible rippling that bothers you, significant thinning of the skin which can lead to extrusion of the implant if not corrected  or pain in that area. 

Andrew Kaczynski, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews


Thank you for your question, and no do you do not have to remove or replace your implants if they do not bother you bc of the rippling. Be sure to follow up with your PS.Benjamin J. Cousins MD 

Benjamin J. Cousins, MD
Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Do I need to change implants because of rippling

Thank you for your question. If it is not causing any problem there is no need to change them. But it can always can be exchanged if you want.

Ven Erella, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews


No you do not.Twenty percent of patients with saline implants have VISIBLE rippling and even more have PALPABLE rippling. It is cosmetic only. Glad you are happy with your results.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Do I have to replace my breast implant if it's rippling but doesn't bother me?

Thank you for your question. If you are not having any pain or discomfort related to the implant then there is no real reason for concern or need to have it replaced. You should always keep your follow up appointments with your surgeon to make sure everything continues to heal well. 

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Do I have to replace my breast implant if it's rippling but doesn't bother me

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs and congratulations on your breast augmentation! If the rippling is not causing you any problems there is no necessity to have them adjusted, exchanged, or modified.  You can keep them in place until you desire a change of some kind.  Hope that this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Rippling post aug

If you are not having any problems leave them alone.The rippling is due to a lack or soft tissue over the implant.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Rippling is often a normal part of the surface of the implant and it doesn't mean that replacement is necessary

I think breast implants normally form some ripples in them as they settle with gravity, especially the older "fourth generation" cohesive gel implants still used by Mentor and Allergan in their round implants, as opposed to the "fifth generation" highly cohesive, or "gummy bear," implants that are now on the market.  If your tissues are thin enough for you to detect your implant, chances are very high that you will feel some ripples in it, depending upon what position you are in.  This is most apparent along the bottom outer quadrant of the breast in most ladies.  That is because the tissue is thinnest here, and we don't usually have muscle to cover implants here, even if the placement is under the muscle above.  Thus, rippling of the implant surface and being able to feel the implant are more or less normal findings in this situation, and they don't necessarily mean anything is wrong with the implant.  In these cases you absolutely don't need to have your implant replaced, and in fact, were you to go and do that just because, you would probably have the same thing happen to your new implant too!  At 3 months postop there is little likelihood that your implant has ruptured, and if you are having no other problems with the implant or breast, you are happy with the appearance, and you have normal activity tolerance, I would simply continue to follow up as directed by your surgeon and not worry about this.  If this rippling is bad enough, sometimes we go back to surgery and place a layer of a special implant made of either human or pig dermis (skin) to cover the implant and thicken the tissues to hide the ripples, but this is only in extreme cases in which the rippling is bothersome enough and the tissues are thin enough.  If you detect any changes in your breast or your implant, you should let your surgeon know right away so that you can be examined and any problems can be detected and addressed.  Your pictures seem to show a very beautiful early result, so my compliments to your surgeon.  Best of luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

I feel the ripple

Hello and thank you for your question. Its helpful that you posted your before picture as well as your afters...most people don't do that! First and foremost I think the best thing to do is to go back to your plastic surgeon and get examined. Show them what you are talking about and see what they think the reasoning is and what their recommendations are based on their diagnosis. From what you describe, it sounds as though it maybe rippling. Rippling is not anything dangerous or serious. Rippling becomes a problem for women when it becomes visible. However, if it is only just rippling, and if it doesn't bother you at this time then you don't have to change them! If the rippling gets worse, becomes more palpable or becomes visible and you want to change them, then you should go for some of the newer styles of implants that have silicone but are more filled than previous implants. This decreases the risk of rippling even more so than the older silicone implants do. Rippling with silicone implants does not affect the shelf life.
Hope this helps!
Ankur Mehta MD

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.