Can dense breast tissue help hide any rippling effects from BA?

I'm having 225ccs silicone moderate + profile placed under the muscle. I am now a 32AA. I am concerned about "rippling" as my skin is pretty thin, however, when I went for my mammogram, I was told that I have "dense" breast tissue. Will that tissue help to hide any rippling- should that occur? I'm pretty thin- 5'1" 88lbs.

Doctor Answers 11

Can Dense Breast Tissue Hide Rippling?

It does sound like you are quite thin, and that will have the biggest in impact on whether you end up with any visible rippling. Fortunately, it sounds like you are doing a number of things to minimize the risk of rippling. The two most important things would be, going with a modest sized implant, and placing the implant under the muscle. Having dense breast tissue may have some small benefit, but the area where visible rippling is most likely to occur is along the lateral aspect of your breast. There is little breast tissue in this area, so having dense breast tissue will have no impact on minimizing rippling. It's not clear from your post if the implant that is being used is the latest generation highly cohesive silicone gel which will have the least tendency to develop rippling, although not a guarantee. My preference is too use Sientra implants because they have one of the most cohesive gel implants which at the same time feels quite soft and natural. The highly cohesive gel implants from other manufacturers are overly film and do not have as soft a feel. 

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Tissue thickness vs density

As has been said, the thickness of the tissue (yours sounds super thin) is more important than breast density when it comes to ripples. The outside edge is where you are at risk and you may well have some wrinkles but will still hopefully love the result.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews


Implants placed under the muscle will protect against rippling in the upper breast.  The locations where rippling can occur in thin, small breasted women are along the outside edge and underneath the breast.  This may occur.  There are implants that are better choices if this is a big concern to you and your surgeon.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Ali Mosharrafa

Ali Mosharrafa, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Rippling and Breast Augmentation

Congratulations on your decision to have a breast augmentation.  For patients with small frames who are thin, rippling from breast implants is a potential problem.  All breast implants have ripples since we do not yet have a perfect implant.  The density of the breast tissue may help hid the ripples slightly but really it comes down to how much "coverage" you have.  It is like a ball under a sheet as compared to a ball under a quilt.  There is nothing you can do to change your body so what I recommend for patients like you are the gummy bear implants since they are form stable and have less rippling.   The implants from Sientra have been shown to have the least ripples of all the gummy bear breast implants.

Interestingly, withe Sientra implants, if you get some rippling in the first few months after surgery, it seems to improve at around 6 to 12 months after surgery as your scars improve.  This is because the texture of the implant will "Velcro" to your body.  A very nice implant.  In addition, this implant lends itself well to going above the muscle so that you avoid an even worse problem than rippling, and that is animation of your breast from the muscle pulling on your implant.  

I hope that helps.

Best regards

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Can dense breast tissue help hide any rippling effects from BA?

Yes, thicker tissue over ripples will hide them. The problem with ripples is they usually are at the very edge of the breast where tissues are always the thinnest and a woman who wears a AA bra cup has very little soft tissue thickness anywhere. But the new silicone products have very litle rippling especially the Inamed Inspiras and the Inamed 410s. I suspect you will be thrilled with your new look. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Thickness is more important than density

To prevent rippling, the most important things are to put as thick a layer as possible between the implants and the skin, and to use an implant of reasonable size for the amount of tissue you have available to cover it.  From your description, I agree with placing the implants under the muscle and the size sounds reasonable (although an in-person exam would be needed to be sure).  Silicone gel implants have less rippling than saline, so I agree with that too.  Smooth implants tend to mask rippling better than textured implants when the tissue coverage is thin.  Breast tissue density can make it better or worse, depending upon how it is distributed.  If it is spread out in a disc shape, it tends to be better than if it is constricted in a tight "button" under the nipple.

Lynn D. Derby, MD
Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Can dense breast tissue help hide any rippling effects from BA?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well, implants behind the muscle will help against rippling. I recommend you ti consult a board certified plastic surgeon that can help get the appearance that you wish. Add photos next time for better evaluation, best wishes.

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 418 reviews


Thanks for your question. Rippling is a problem seen with over-filled saline implants.  This is typically not a problem with silicone implants.  All tissue (breast, fat, muscle) that lies over the implant will help camouflage potential ripples, but if you were my patient, I would tell you not to worry.  Best of luck with your surgery! 

Nicholas Husni, MD, PhD, FACS
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Minimize Rippling


Thank you for your question. Dense breast tissue, fat, muscle and thick skin all help minimize the appearance of rippling, as does a more cohesive gel implant. It sounds as though you are doing everything you can to minimize the appearance of rippling.

All the best

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Dense breast tissue will not hide rippling

if you're just a thin person with minimal breast tissue.  Implants are not perfect and your rippling concerns are valid.  It would be my suggestion to simply get the size you will be happy with so you have the 'look' you wanted and accept ripples, if they happen.  Focus on your looks and everything else seems to fall in place.  And if you happen to have rippling and someone is lucky enough to appreciate them, and they complain about it, its a great test to let you know that person was not worth your time.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 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.