Why have I got ripples appearing under my skin, what can be done to fix it and do I have to have smaller implants? (photos)

I had a BA in Apr 13. I am a small frame so was told not you go big. Despite having small implants (265cc) I lost feeling in both breasts. 1 yr ago I i got ripples in my left breast. In both I can feel ripples in, as if the implants have broken up inside my breasts. I was told that because the implants were too big for my frame they have shifted causing a rippling affect. if I was to go in again id want to go slightly bigger-is there anything that can be done?

Doctor Answers 6

Ripples from Implants

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Looking at your photo one can appreciate the rippling on the outer surface of the breast. This is a common area to see the ripples especially in women who are very thin. Silicone gel implants are less likely to ripple versus saline implants. Cohesive gel shaped implants have minimal problems with rippling but are a firmer implant. What concerns me on your photo is the amount of fullness to the bottom of the breast and the nipple is positioned high on the implant and not on the center. This is called bottoming out of the implant and going to a larger implant can make this worse. Your best solution is to get an evaluation by a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience with breast implant to get their opinion. 

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Why have I got ripples appearing under my skin

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Most implants ripple, saline much more so than silicone. The thinner the soft tissue layer, the easier it is to feel and sometimes see the ripples. You might want to consider a switch to a highly cohesive silicone. That is the implant least likely to have the problem. You give up some softness however when you do that type of implant.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Rippling can be addressed

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Thanks for your question and the photo. It's hard to appreciate just how much rippling you have with this single photo. I don't think your implant is too large. If it's saline, I would recommend changing to silicone. If you want to be slightly larger you probably will be better off with a High Profile implant. This will allow a similar diameter implant but a larger volume. The trade off is that it will be  a little more round in appearance. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Rippling with saline implants above the muscle

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Thanks for the question and the photo. I'm sorry you're having this issue. As others have said, rippling is more common with women such as yourself who have very low body fat. Other things which cause rippling to be more obvious are when the implant is placed above the muscle and when a saline implant is used. In my opinion there are a few things that can be done to improve the rippling. The first is to change to a silicone implant if you have a saline one in now. The second is to have the implant moved to underneath the muscle. The final thing that may help if you continue to have rippling is to have fat grafting done to your breast to help reduce the appearance of the rippling. Having a correctly size implant also helps to reduce rippling and many other complications. Make sure to see a plastic surgeon who has experience with breast augmentation surgery. Best of luck!
~Dr. Sieber

David A. Sieber, MD
San Francisco General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast Implants and Rippling?

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The rippling you are experiencing is not uncommon in women who are thin to begin with and the implant width is too wide for their breast width.  The wider the implant, the more it thins the tissues out over time and allows the implant edges to be seen and felt.  There are various ways to help improve this - decrease the width of the implant, make sure the implant is not falling laterally too much, and reinforce the lateral pocket with some material to help add strength and width to the tissue.  Changing to a firmer, anatomically shaped form stable implant is an option as well. The best thing to do is to go for a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon that does a lot of breast revision work and see what they recommend.  I hope this helps.

Why have I got ripples appearing under my skin, what can be done to fix it and do I have to have smaller implants?

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I'm sorry to hear about your concerns after breast   augmentation surgery. Based on your description and  limited  photograph it is likely that you are experiencing a breast implant displacement  problem.  It is possible, because the implants have shifted, that you are feeling and/or seeing the breast implants more. 

Generally speaking, palpability and rippling of breast implants may be related to several factors. These include the amount of soft tissue and breast tissue coverage over the breast implants, the position of the breast implants (submuscular versus sub glandular), the type of implants (saline versus silicone), and the degree of overfilling of saline filled implants. Generally, weight loss will extension weight any rippling/palpability of the implants. Deflation of saline implants will also increase the rippling/palpability of the implants.  Again, breast implant displacement complication may be associated with increased breast implant rippling and/or palpability.

In your case, corrective options may include  adjustment of breast implant capsules adjustment of the breast implant capsules (capsulorraphy)  and/or the use of acellular dermal matrix to provide additional coverage.
 You may find the attached link, dedicated to these types of revisionary breast operations, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes. 

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.