Implant Rippling or Something More Serious?

I just got breast implants less than a week ago. I had very little breast tissue and got 390 CCs using a textured implant. Now, on one of my breasts, I have what looks like a line going across my breast, and the top of my breast looks larger than the bottom. What is this?

Doctor Answers 10

Implant Rippling or Something More Serious

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Implant #rippling is unlikely a serious issue as much as it is #esthetic.  An ultrasound or #MRI can reveal otherwise. Such as if it's a silicone implant which is leaking. Nevertheless, the implant or both can be revised if you choose. Speak and visit your board-certified surgeon to further evaluate the matter  and determine the options best suitable.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Implant issues

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Hard to tell you exactly what the line is, but if they were placed under the muscle, it may be the border of the muscle you are seeing. If so, this should get better. As to the position, theym ay stay up like that if they are textured.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Imperfect result after breast implants.

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Just based on your description, it sounds like you may not have a good result after breast implants. The line could be rippling, or tightness in the implant pocket. Textured implants are more prone to rippling.

The fullness on top suggests you will not have good long term shape. I know this is not what you were hoping to hear, and I could be wrong. In any case, do not do anything for six months. You may need a revision then.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Line across implants

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Thanks for your question -

It is normal to have some superior pole fullness as the implants will settle as the swelling resolves. The line you describe could be a number of things but is likely the border of the pectoralis muscle.

As the other physicians have mentioned, close follow-up with your plastic surgeon is key at this point. These should be issues you address with him or her.

In addition - try taking pictures of your breasts every week to document the issue if you feel things aren't improving. This can give you an excellent reference point to discuss post-op changes.

I hope this helps.

Follow your surgeon's advice and give it time

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Too soon to tell, but make your plastic surgeon aware of the problem. He or she is in the best position to render advice. If the implants were placed under the pectoralis major muscle then the bulge you see superiorly may be the upper portion of the muscle. As the muscle relaxes the implant will drop down. The crease you see may be the old inframammary crease, crease under the breast, especially if this was tight prior to surgery. Follow your surgeon's advice and give it time.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews


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Especially if the inplants are under the muscle, it will take time for them to drop. The line may go away by itself, or not. You really must wait for your final result. I usually see the implants drop at about 4 weeks if they are textured an dunder, and about 3 weeks if they are smooth. Over the muscle is a different story.

What does your surgeon say?

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The one person who would best be able to answer your question is your surgeon.  It could be swelling.  It could be a slight "double bubble" condition.  Whatever it is, it is too early in your recovery to critically evaluate.  See your surgeon and good luck! 

Early upper breast fullness is normal and to be expected

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This is too early to tell. It is not unusual to have upper breast fullness for up to 6-9 months after undergoing breast augmentation surgery, especially in women with small breasts who have never nursed.

Some surgeons will advise breast implant exercises to promote enlargement of the lower half of the breast and the "descent" of the implant. Textured implants have a greater tendency to remain in place than smooth implants, and this can be both an advantage and disadvantage.

I am sure that there are good reasons why your surgeon chose this implant and you need to discuss this with them. In regards to the line, it is difficult to say, is this something you see with muscle contraction? Overs or Unders? Stay in touch with your plastic surgeon and give it some time.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Allow time for implants to settle

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In this case, time for settling is important no matter what. Indeed, textured implants do seem to ripple more, but this may be only a temporary post operative condition. I would recommend discussing your concerns with your surgeon as multiple factors could be at play.

Michael A. Marschall, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Too soon to judge

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Having had your surgery less than a week ago you still have swelling and lines on the breast could simply be caused by seams from any garment you are wearing for support at this time. Immediately after breast implant surgery you will have more fullness on the upper portion of your breast and that will settle with time. I would advise you to see your surgeon to alleviate some of your concerns. Textured implants do ripple more often than smooth surface ones. Other factors for rippling depend on how thin your tissue coverage is, whether or not your implant is above or below your muscle and also the size of your implant compared to your body type. Be patient as your surgery was less than a week ago.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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.