I Had Ba 7 Years Ago. Over the Last Month, I Am Noticing a Rippling Feeling on the Outside of my Left Nipple?

I had ba 7 years ago. Over the last month, I am noticing a rippling feeling on the outside of my left nipple when doing my breast exams that was never there before. It is approximately a 1.5 inch in diameter area. I do have saline implants. Is this something to worry about? Does it need to be fixed? Should I have a sono to make sure it is not small cysts/tumors?

Doctor Answers 16

Rippling After Many Years of Saline Implant

   After 7 years of saline implants, many women will have noticeable ripping particularly with larger implants or in women with little breast tissue.  A plastic surgeon can readily determine if this an implant ripple, the valve, or something else.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Rippling Feeling on the Outside of my Left Nipple?

Rather than an imaging study, start with an exam by a plastic surgeon, where both the issue of what it is and what could be done can be addressed. Ripples are common (as in 100%) with saline implants. Assuming as is most likely that this is harmless, you can decide if it bothers you enough to  change out to silicone implants, with which rippling is much less apparent. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


Rippling is not uncommon with saline implants that have been in the body for years, especially in flat chested or thin women. It can be corrected with fat transfer or replacing the implants with silicone implants.  

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Breast implant rippling

Though undesired rippling can occur after breast augmentation and appears to be more common with saline implants. After seven years, the cause may be capsular contracture as the scar capsule around your implant has begun to tighten around the implant.  You may need to have your implants exchanged and capsules opened and/or removed. I would check with your plastic surgeon to determine what's best for you. 

Asaad H. Samra, MD
New Jersey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Rippling seven years after implants

Please arrange to see your doctor or ideally your plastic surgeon for an initial assessment. They will probably recommend a scan to assess the structural integrity of your implants and then discuss ways forward for you

Sultan Hassan, MD, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Rippling after Saline Implants

What you are experiencing is very common.  All Saline implants ripple and it typically gets worse over time.  The implant shell gets stretched and ripples more and the breast loses volume leading to more noticeability of the implant.  The solution is an implant exchange to Silicone Gel implants.  If all you need is an exchange it is a very straightforward operation, with little to no downtime and post-op pain.

Brian K. Reedy, MD
Reading Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Rippling vs. Mass?

Saline implants are notorious for rippling.  Especially if you have relatively low amount of fat or breast tissue covering the implant.  You should be examined by a plastic surgeon first to decide whether you problem is indeed rippling vs. a mass or abnormality.  It is common for implant to fold or the valve to become prominent, or the implant to rotate, causing rippling.  Your plastic surgeon can help you decide if this needs to be further evaluated, or if harmless, what can be done to correct it.

Best Wishes!

Pablo A. Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Post Operative Implant Rippling

What you describe is a very common occurence, especially in patients with saline implants. I would recommend that you see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for an in-person evaluation, rather than undergoing any imaging studies that perhaps may not be required. At that time a discussion as to what the cause is, are imaging studies indicated, and/or if an exchange of your saline implants for silicone implants would be appropriate.

Thank you for the question. I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


It is quite sure that you feel is rippling due to the implant. A sonography will help you to confirm this suspicion. After that a plastic surgeon can recommend you to exchange the implants or not.

Jesus Benito-Ruiz, MD
Spain Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Rippling of saline implants

It is not uncommon to have some rippling of the implants after many years and especially if the tissues are thin or the implant is under the gland.  In any event, you should have an evaluation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.