Implant Rippling at the Base of One Breast

I am 5'2", 105 lbs with minimal breast tissue from breastfeeding(32A). I chose 300 cc silicone moderate plus profile (smooth round) breast implants which were on the conservative side. I am 16 days post-op and after the stitches were removed on day 14, I was given instructions to begin massage. Since then, I have noticed that the base of one breast has some rippling to the touch (not visible). Will this resolve itself through massage and/or settling? Or is this a defect in the implant or pocket?

Doctor Answers 4

Implant rippling at the base of one breast may resolve

It is still too early to tell if the rippling will show.

The fact that the implant ripples is not in itself abnormal. As a matter of fact, during consultations I will grab a saline implant in one hand and a silicon implant in the other hand to show patients how both ripple.

There are different ways of creating the implant pocket. Some surgeons cover only the upper and medial parts of the implant with muscle, some try to elevate other muscles laterally and below to create more of a muscle cover laterally and inferiorly. There is no right or wrong way as each approach has advantages and disadvantages.

I have some more information at the link below, you might also want to check out the video.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Visible or palpable implant rippling not uncommon in very thin patients

The 300cc implants for your body size are conservative in Southern California only. You state that you have "minimal breast tissue". I hope the implants were placed submuscularly to conceal any rippling superiorly. A larger implant will cause more stress, stretching and thinning of the tissues over time. Although silicone gel implants are better than saline implants for you due to your thin tissues, you can still experience rippling. Hopefully these issues were discussed by your surgeon extensively prior to your surgery.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Very common in a thin woman

I tell every one of my patients that they will be able to feel the edges of their implants, especially in a thin, petite woman. Silicone implants will be more forgiving in this regard but your tissues are only so thick. As your body builds the scar or capsule around the implant, this may help a little. Follow your plastic surgeon's massage and follow-up instructions carefully and make sure to ask them questions about your concerns as well.

Dr Edwards

Michael C. Edwards, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

It is too early to tell

You need to wait a good four to five months for a final result. Your implants will change position over this time period and a capsule will form around them, which can hide rippling to a certain extent. With that being said, the less breast tissue you have to begin with (you were a 31A), the more likely it is that you will have a palpable implant after surgery. You made the right choice with a silicone over a saline implant. Remember, that all implants are palpable to a certain extent unless you already have a lot of breast tissue to begin with.

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 163 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.