15 Year Old Saline Implants Have Visible Ripples After Losing 38lb, Options?

Doctor Answers 13

Rippling of breast implants after weight loss

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There are several things one can do to minimize chance of breast implant rippling:

use a smooth implant

place implant under the muscle rather than over the muscle

use silicone gel filled implant

However, if your skin is very thin due to weight loss, there is a higher chance of rippling.  Recently, plastic surgeons are using cadaver dermis and placing it between the skin and the implant, essentially adding thickness to the skin.  However, the cost of this allograft is usually prohibitive for most patients.

Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for a proper evaluation and treatment.

Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Another alternative that may be helpful is fat grafting...

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I agree with the other plastic surgeons who have suggested relocating the implant to the sub muscular plane and also changing to cohesive gel implants. If you still have very little tissue covering the implants where the muscle is absent, another way to add coverage is to do fat grafting. The fat can be harvested from your abdomen or another area, processed, and injected into the required area with blunt cannulae. The advantage is that this is your own tissue (the processed materials are quite pricey).
Good luck.

Rodney A. Green, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Older breast implants rippling after weight loss

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After a significant weight loss, you may see a change in your implants, especially if they are saline. The options include changing to a submuscular pocket or switching to a silicone gel. Your implants probably will need replacement anyway, given that they are 15 years old.

Donna Rich, MD
Webster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Replacement Of 15 Year Old Rippling Implants

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You are most likely to obtain a good result by removing your implants and replacing them with smooth silicone implants placed under the chest muscle.  Rippling is more commonly seen with saline and textured implants in my experience.  Rippling is also more common with implants placed above, rather than below, the muscle.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Visible rippling after saline implants

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You give two great reasons for having your breast implants revised, maybe three. First,  if you have visible rippling, there are a number of options to make this look better. The options include changing from saline to silicone implants, switching to below-the-muscle location if currently over-the-muscle, adding a material like Alloderm or Strattice to add both support and an additional layer between the implant and skin. Second, if your saline implants are 15 years old, now is a good time to change them out to avoid risk of rupture. Implants are not a lifetime device. Also, with a 38 pound weight loss you may also be a good candidate for a breast lift, which can often be done at the same time as the implant revision.

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Saline Implants + Weight Loss = Ripples

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We have all seen rippling of varying degrees from saline implants.  Tissue coverage whether it be breast tissue, body fat or muscle are all important to reduce the amount of rippling and palpability with all implants especially saline implants.  If all else looks good (no sagging, no capsular contracture, no malposition...) then the simplest solution is to simply switch to silicone. The higher profile smooth silicone implants especially the Allergan style 45 ripple the least.  Once we determine the size of your present implants, and determine if you wish to be smaller, the same or larger, we can easily calculate which silicone implant is best.  If you are also exhibiting some of the other issues that I described above then a consultation would be needed to determine additional surgical options including pocket conversion or adjustment and breast lift.

Lawrence W. Shaw, MD
Arizona Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Saline implants and rippling

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Congratulations on your weight loss!  However, sometimes as what happened to you, the thinning of tissue accentuated the underlying implant.  Sometimes changing the pocket location can help, or placing strattice.

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

15 Year Old Saline Implants Have Visible Ripples After Losing 38lb, Options?Answer:

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There are several possibilities depending on a few things which we don’t know. What is your ht. & wt. now? Where and when do you see the ripples? Are you above or below muscle? How big are your implants & what are they filled to? So if you only see mild ripples on the side and only bending over, then you may not need anything. If  5’7”, 105 lb. & above the muscle, maybe silicone, under the muscle & poss Strattice or 410 gel. Normal build & some breast tissue, maybe new salines overfilled a bit.

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Old saline implants with rippling

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Even without a significant weight loss such as yours, saline implants can show rippling through the breast skin.  Depending on your anatomy, your doctor may offer several alternatives. In general, changing from saline to silicone will improve or eliminate visible rippling. Other treatments to improve rippling can also include  placing the implants under the muscle and/or using alloderm to line the pocket.  If the breasts have become saggy as well from the weight loss you may also consider a skin tightening or lift procedure, too.

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Implants ripple after weight loss

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Good tissue coverage can be very important to the look and feel of breast implants. Weight loss and thinning of the breast over time can cause ripples to appear. Your saline implants are nearing the end of their life and you can consider replacement which might reduce the ripple, and breast lift which can improve the breast shape and coverage over the implant.

Best of luck, peterejohnsonmd.com

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