Do Ripples In The Breast Implants Indicate A Leak?

i had breast inplants put in 8 years ago.i have ripples and my breast size looks like they are getting you think i have a leak in them?

Doctor Answers 11

Ripples and decrease in size

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Ripples on their own don't indicate a leak, however if you've just noticed them and your breast size appears to be decreasing as well, both signs could be indication of a leak. It's best to see your surgeon.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Rippling In Breast Implants

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There are several causes of rippling in breast implants, one of which is a partial leak.  More common would be underfilling of a saline implant and having insufficient tissue covering the implant.  Rippling is seen more frequently with saline implants which are placed above the muscle.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Rippling in breast eight years after implants

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I have found that rippling can become more prominent in saline implants as long as four to eight years after surgery.  Frequently, it appears that the implants are getting smaller, but when I have had the occasion to go back in, the volume has been exactly the same.

Likely, you should have your surgeon explore this and replace the implants with silicone gel.

Kenneth L. Stein, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Ripples in implants

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Rippling is quite common with saline implants.  While the new onset of rippling, and implants that appear to be getting smaller are frequently a sign of rupture,  this is not always the case.  It is extremely rare for both implants to rupture and get smaller at the same time.  You should see your doctor to discuss the possibility of a rupture, but don't be too surprised if your implants have not ruptured but that they have just "settled" more, or the skin has streched more.

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast Implant Leakage

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I would have to agree with my colleagues, the only reason for your breasts to become smaller is either weight loss or implant leakage. The new appearance of ripples can also be a sign of a slow saline implant leak. I would definitely discuss this with your PS. Best of luck.

Derek Lou, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Implant ripples

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Implant ripples usually means that the skin envelope is thin. However, if you think the breasts are deflating, then more than likely the implants have leaked.  You should see your doctor.

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

Increasing implant ripples may indicate a leak

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Saline breast implants usually will lose volume rapidly when they develop a leak, however a slower leak is possible, and if your breast is smaller and ripples are appearing a leak should be considered. After eight years, your implant replacement warranty should apply so get in and let your surgeon take a look.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Inplant leaking

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You may have a leak but it usually manifests itseld on one side rather than both-rippling can occur  after weight loss - even as little as 5 lbs.  you should check with your PS

Edward J. Bednar, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

Breast Implants - Does Rippling Mean They're Leaking?

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Hi bonnie s in warrington PA,

If you have saline implants and are noticing more rippling and a decreasing size of the implants, then it is at least possible that you have a slow leak.  Frank deflations usually behave a little differently - one implant appears a little smaller than the other, and then within a few days one is completely flat while the other is relatively unchanged.

But it's possible that you do have a small leak and you should see your plastic surgeon (or another) to assess how you're doing.

Another possibility is that you've lost some weight (or breast-fed, or a combination) and that with less volume of your own breast tissue over the implant, the irregularities of the implant have become more visible.  If they're on top of the muscle the rippling may be visible over the entire breast; if they're under the muscle the rippling is typically most noticeable at the outer edge and lower (inferior) aspect of the implant.

If you have silicone gel implants then rippling is less likely to begin with (than with saline implants) but you should just as certainly contact your PS.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Breast implant

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I would add to the previous comment that if you are seeing a change in both implants, then it is likely not a leak. Although it is possible to have a slow leak, it is still a fairly noticable change. Slow leaks are from vavle failure. Once some of the saline leaks out the pressure decreases and the remaining saline can stay for a while. If there is a hole in the shell, all of the saline leaks out in a matter of days. See you surgeon

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