Is It Normal to Feel Rippling of Silicon Implants on the Entire Breast?

Augmentation - 7 months ago. I was a 32 A and I had 375 ccs of silicon gel to put me at a 32 dd. The surgeon placed implants under the muscle. I am 106 pounds and 5'3". Two months ago I began feeling rippling or bubling under and around both breasts. I had an ultra sound of one of my breasts two months ago for a different issue and you could see a small amount of breast tissue in front of the implant. Now I am feeling the bubbling implant on my entire breast even around my nipple. Is this normal

Doctor Answers 8

Rippling after implants

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This is more common in patients with thinner skin and less of their own natural breast tissue. You  should see your surgeon to discuss your concerns.

Thin and rippling

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The thinner you are the more likley you have less soft tissue coverage even when the implants is placed under the muscle. It is quite possible that you have rippling.  It is important to get an evaluation.


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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 of rm-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.


Rippling of Breast Implants

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Typically, with a silicone implant placed below the pectoralis muscle in an adequately sized implant pocket, rippling of the entire breast should be quite rare.  Rippling of the lower pole of the implant can occur on occasion, especially if your overlying breast tissue is thin.  It could be that your implant pocket is too small to accommodate the implant, although it could be other issues as well.  Best to see your original surgeon to get a accurate answer.

Brian Howard, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implant rippling

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Rippling of silicone implants will occasionally occur if there is a dearth of breast tissue and I would urge you to consult with your operating surgeon, who will be familiar with your anatomy, and will be able to answer your question.

Breast Implant Rippling

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All breast implants ripple with saline implants rippling more than silicone illed breat implants. Your cup size goal for your augmented breasts is limited not by the size of breast implant that could be physically put in the breast but by the amount of available breast tissue available to cover a particular implant. From your description it seems the implants used in your case did not have sufficient soft tissue cover allowing the implant ripples to be felt. This may be remedied with application of fat grafting or insertion of a biological sheet between the mplants and the breast tissue. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Feeling rippling after breast augmentation

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It is uncommon to feel rippling across the entire breast after augmantation with a silicone gel implant under the muscle .  However , the information you provided indicate that you are extremely thin (BMI = 18), so there is little natural body fat or breast tissue to cover an implant and mask the edge.

Your best option is to ask your plastic surgeon what options are available to address this issue.  Good luck.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Rippling Of Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question.

No, it is not common to feel rippling of silicone gel implants on the entire breast. Generally, it is more common to  experience rippling  with breast implants placed in the sub glandular position.  With sub muscular augmentation,  if rippling is present it is most likely to be found along the inferior and lateral aspects of the breasts where the pectoralis muscle coverage is no longer present.

In regards to correction of the rippling issues,  in person examination will be necessary to give you good advice.

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.