Will Rippling Get Worse Overtime?

I had surgery 3 months ago and have just noticed that on my right breast I have rippling. I really don't want to have another surgery. If the rippling stays the way it is I will be okay with it. My question is does rippling get worse with time?

Doctor Answers 5


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Breast Implant Rippling most often occurs when there is insufficient soft tissue coverage due to little overlying body fat and breast tissue. Implants placed beneath the muscle help to minimize this phenomena but the lower and outside breast (as pectoralis muscle is no longer present), towards the cleavage where the muscle thins out or on top of the breast where breast tissue is often lacking are the most common places to see rippling. It is often accentuated with certain positions (e.g. bending over,or leaning). Most of the time, rippling is felt along the outer side of the breast and the inner side of the breast next to the cleavage. Breast implant waviness (rippling) that is felt but not noticeable to the eye is very common and should not be a concern. However, when rippling is visible, patients are often self-conscious about their appearance.
Factors that are associated with increased rippling include:
  • Traditional Saline implants (IDEAL® Saline implants less likely)
  • Textured implants
  • Large implants
  • Thin patients with low BMI
  • Implants placed above the muscle
  • Prior history of rippling
Factors which are less likely to have rippling include:
  • Heavier and larger breasted women
  • Using a highly cohesive form-stabile silicone implants (gummy bear)
  • Smooth implants
  • Smaller implants
  • Submuscular placement
Once rippling occurs it is very difficult to correct. Rippling can be minimized by placing a biologic fabrics (e.g. AlloDerm®, Strattice™, SERI®), submuscular conversion if implants are above the muscle, fat transfer, use of adjacent tissue (muscle or fascia) if available, and in persistent cases implant removal and fat transfer. Seek the care of the best board certified plastic surgeon possible with experience in breast revision surgery.


Rippling might get worse over time

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Rippling is an uncommon event unless going with larger saline implants or choosing "over the muscle" placement. A switch to silicone gel can make it less noticeable. You are early. I'd wait a good six months before deciding whether or not it is bad enough to warrant more surgery.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Too early to worry about breast implant rippling

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Your rippling will be affected by the status of your breast capsule as well as the surrounding breast tissue.It is too early to worry about the wrippling.

When the time comes for exchanging your implant for ay reasons,try to switch to a gel implant ,in addition to other measures that could be done in the pocket around the implant to camouflage the wripples. Best of luck.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

It depends...

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If your breast tissue thickness decreases, such as with weight loss or if you have larger implants which can stretch your tissues, the rippling can worsen. On the other hand, you may very well not see any change or worsening.

Dr Edwards


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Hi there-

Visible implant rippling is usually stable without progression unless affected by capsular contracture, where the scar tissue that your body creates around the implants shrinks over time. In this case, the tightening scar capsule will worsen the rippling as it tightens.

If your rippling is nit driving you to distraction, I would wait until you have need for replacement otherwise, either because of the above, or because the implant ruptures.

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.