Will a Breast Lift Help Correct Rippling?

i had a breast lift with breast augmentation revision about 3 weeks ago to remove some scar tissue. I also went down in size slightly from mod profile plus 500ccs to 457ccs same profile. I had some rippling in the clevage area and was told that a lift would help resolve the rippling issue. however i could still see some slight rippling now. Will this resolve on its own as i continue to heal or will i need to correct with alloderm?

Doctor Answers 14

Correction of rippling

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If you have rippling now, it may well not improve, but it is always best to wait a few months before considering revision surgery.  You could also consider fat grafting over the implant to help with the rippling.


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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.


Do you believe in Santa Clause?

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I have never seen rippling improve with a mastopexy alone. Do you have saline or silicone implants now?   Cohesive? Form Stable?    Under the muscle?  over?  Did they try ADM?  


Tought to answer your question without more info.  Good luck .g


Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

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Breast Lift and Breast Implant Rippling?

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Thank you for the question.

No, your rippling will not necessarily improve unless you are to gain weight and increase soft tissue coverage in the area.

In the long term, if Griffin continues to be a concern, improvement of the rippling may  be achieved with further surgery including implant pocket exchange if possible ( sub glandular to submuscular), implant exchange if possible (saline to silicone), and/or the use of allograft to provide an additional layer of tissue between the implant and the patient's skin.  

I hope this helps.

Breast Implants and Rippling

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Breast implants normally have some rippling at their surface. It is only visible and possibly palpable if the soft tissue covering the implant is limited. A breast lift will reduce and tighten the skin envelope around an implant. If indicated otherwise, it may help correct or improve visible rippling but this is not the most direct or preferred method of doing so. Visible rippling is most directly addressed by tightening the implant pocket that is defined by the capsule surrounding the implant; by exchanging for a larger implant in the same pocket; or by increasing the amount of soft tissue covering the implant. The implant pocket can be reduced by suturing (capsulorrhaphy) or the implant can be repositioned in a completely new and smaller pocket with better soft tissue coverage (sub-glandular to sub-pectoral or neo-subpectoral). If a breast lift was performed with an exchange to a slightly smaller implant and there was some improvement in the rippling, then that should be accepted as a satisfactory result. The rippling that is still present may, but will probably not improve with more time. Adding to soft tissue coverage or tightening the pocket with Alloderm or any other biologic graft material is an extreme measure for breast augmentation revision. This alternative is probably best reserved for cases of severe deformity that have failed all other options.

Max Polo, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
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Will a Breast Lift Help Correct Rippling?

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You are early from your surgery, but rippling will not improve, it can only worsen.  you do not state if your implants are in front or behind the muscle, and if they are saline or silicone.  Typically silicone behind the muscle have the least liklihood of rippling, but you can still ripple if your soft tissue covering is very thin.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
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Rippling in a breast implant

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The ripple that you see in the cleavage area of the breast is related to thin tissue cover, and the best solution is submuscular placement to hide the upper edge of the implant. We find that AlloDerm is very expensive, is quite thin, and offers no guarantee for a solution to the ripple. Both a silicone gel and a saline implant can ripple, the saline of course more so. The breast lift will improve the shape, but unless the coverage over the implant is improved, the ripple will not go away.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Rippling after augmentation

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It is unlikely that this will change much but probably it is too early to tell. An option to consider is fat grafting.

Jeff Scott, MD
Everett Plastic Surgeon

Rippling is caused by saline implants, underfilled implants, and/or thin tissue cover.

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If you have rippling three weeks after surgery, I can tell you with very high certainty that your rippling will only get worse as healing goes forward, swelling diminishes, and tissues soften and stretch. Alloderm may help to give you a slightly thicker layer over the implant rippling, but if your rippling is with saline-filled implants, switching to the newest generation of cohesive silicone gel implants will give you the highest likelihood of significantly reducing or eliminating your rippling. Don't delay too long, or the ripples may end up being formed in your tissues, and then there is less improvement in switching to silicone.

If you have rippling with silicone, you may well require Alloderm or other dermal matrix solution. Fat grafting can help, but is generally inadequate as a "solution" in my experience.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
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Breast lift and rippling

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Generally, rippling, particularly medially, in the cleavage area is caused by thin tissue cover.  There are several ways to improve this-conversion to a submuscular augmentation if the implants are subglandular, using silicon rather than salin implants,  and using some type of acellular dermis to thicken/ support the tissue in the rippled area.  A lift  alone will not correct rippling.  Implants which are too large for the body, may also lead to the problem of rippling and droop  and need to be replaced with implants that are appropriately sized for the body.  As the swelling improves, the rippling you see may get worse. 

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