What Helps Prevent Breast Implant Rippling?

Can regular exercise help breast implant rippling disappear or diminish?

Doctor Answers 17


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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.


Breast Implant Rippling

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Rippling is a greater concern for thinner or more athletic women who have less breast tissue. No exercise can be used to prevent rippling. There are some presurgical decisions such as going under the muscle and choosing gel implants over saline which may reduce the risk of rippling.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Causes for implant rippling

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question.

In general, the following tenants hold true:  Under the muscle ripples less than over the muscle, silicone gel implants ripple less than saline implants, and if you can feel your ribs on your chest wall then you will likely be able to feel the edge of your implant and are also at risk for experiencing rippling.

Thin women with little overlying soft tissue or breast tissue are at the most risk for experiencing rippling of breast implants.

Regular exercise will not make breast implant rippling go away or lessen.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Prevention Of Implant Rippling

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are no exercises which will prevent or improve implant rippling.  The things which, I feel, will lessen the chances of developing ripples lies in the choice of implant type and location of placement.  In my experience, smooth silicone implants which are placed below the chest muscle have the lowest incidence of rippling.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Rippling is seen when the soft tissue covering over an implant is too thin. Saline implants also tend to ripple more than silicone implants. In someone with thin tissue in the upper portion of the breast, placing the implant under the muscle, either in a sub muscular or dual plane can help.  Also silicone implants could be used in place of saline to reduce this risk as well. 

Samuel Maurice, MD
Des Moines Plastic Surgeon

Rippling with breast implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question. Rippling can be seen when the surface of an implant shadows through the tissue, often found where the breast tissue coverage is thin. Some implant styles are more prone such as an overfilled saline implant. Others are less prone such as a shaped silicone implant. So one approach is to change an implant to one that is less prone to rippling. Another approach would be to add some thickness to the breast tissue. This can be done by fat grafting where fat is carefully layered between the skin and the implant. Another is to add a dermal matrix sheet between the breast and the implant where the rippling is visible to blunt the impression of the implant on the overlying skin. If you notice the rippling soon after surgery, I often recommend waiting until around the six month mark as your breasts may continue to change during that recovery period. I would visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options in more detail.

Breast Implant Rippling in tall , lean women

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
#Breastimplants: rippling problems

unfortunately, exercise will not help this problem

Rippling can be reduced with higher fill implants, #Inspira or saline overfill
adding fat , #hybridbreastaugmentation,
tightening skin.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Saline filled implant rippling

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
All saline filled implants can get rippling along the edges. Soft tissue coverage is the key. As long as there is sufficient soft tissue to cover the edges of the implant you will be fine. Otherwise I would consider a gel implant. The long term fate of a saline filled implant is to round out the bottom of the breast as the implant is heavier than a gel.

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


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Rippling of breast implants happens because there is not enough soft tissue coverage over the implant. So in fact, exercise may make it worse because presumably you may lose weight and have thinner coverage.

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


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There have been may good answers posted here.    The most important variable is the amount of original breast skin.    With much to "augment" you will see what you augmented with more easily...i.e.. the implant.   To see the implant less it an be placed under the muscle.    The silicone vs. saline issue is simple for me.   I have chosen saline because of the "medical follow up" required with silicone, and I have great results using saline.   I never fill the implant to the lowest or highest allowed fill volumes, with the belief I will avoid wrinkling and firmness on either side of the fill range.   I use a serratus muscle coverage for the lower outer pocket to get more coverage, and I use tumescent solution to minimize the discomfort created by raising this muscle.



Alan Weiss, MD
Baltimore 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.