Does Silicone Ripple Less Than Overfilled Saline?

I went for my first consult last week and I was unfortunately told that I am not a good candidate for saline due to being thin and having only a small amount of breast tissue. I am 5'2", 104 lbs, 32 A with a 28 inch ribcage, 36 years old, some deflation of upper-pole from BF 2 kids but not really any sag. He said saline implants might look good for 1 or 2 years but then I would likely have rippling. He suggested 325-375 HP silicone to get me to a full C. Does this all sound accurate to you?

Doctor Answers 30

Silicone gel implants vs. overfilled saline implants for rippling

Silicone gel implants generally ripple less than saline implants.

Overfilled saline implants can appear too round in some patients.  It is generally better to stick to the manufacturer's recommendations for filling guidelines.

Patients with thin skin are better off with slightly smaller silicone implants.  This minimizes exposure of the implant and rippling.

Unfortunately, rippling can not be completely eliminated in many thin patients with small amounts of natural breast tissue.  As you can see from red carpet pictures, even those patients with the most beautiful breasts have rippling.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Gel vs. Saline filled implant

An overfilled saline filled implant in a thin patient is not a good idea. The implant can look to round and it increases the risk of rippling along the edges of the implant.  If you are thin and your breast is going to be more implant than you then you will always do better with a gel filled implant.  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Z

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Silicone vs Saline implants

In my opinion, overfilling saline implants beyond the manufacturer's recommendations is not advisable.  However, I am a proponent of filling the saline implants to the maximum allowable volume that is recommended.  Silicone implants do have a lesser tendency to ripple than properly filled saline implants.  For thin women with a paucity of breast and soft tissue coverage, placing a silicone/gel implant under the muscle would give the most natural result in most cases. 

John Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


in general, the "rippling" in silicone is not actually rippling but rather folding. saline is the only implant that has ripples and whether or not you see them has more to do with the thickness of your skin than the implant. the fact is all saline implants ripple but you don't always see rippling

Rippling saline implants vs silicone implants

Women with less of their own natural breast tissue,  or implants placed under breast tissue and over muscle
with larger implants are more of a risk of developing rippling. However reputable surgeons apply techniques that minimize this risk.  

Cohesive silicone implants are less prone to rippling, but it is still a risk. 

Rippling of Breast Implants

Thank you for the question.

Generally, silicone breast implants tend to “ripple” lesson saline breast implants. However, significantly overfilled saline implants tend to ripple less sense to local gel breast implants ( these overfilled saline filled implants however can be very firm).

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 the implants will also increase the rippling/palpability of the implants.

I hope this helps.

Avoiding high profile implants for a tear-drop beautiful shape

I would absolutely agree with avoiding Saline implants, but would think carefully about high profile implants and submuscular placement.  Usually high profile implants in that range are too narrow to fill up a natural breast footprint.  I prefer to use lower profile implants and shape the implant into a wide circle at the bottom that tapers to a teardrop at the top.  This is achieved with subfascial placement.  I use my own version called 'cold-subfascial' placement that allows me to create this natural shape and offer my patients the long term support of an internal brassiere of fascia.  Make sure the implants have sufficient base width to give you full breasts!


All the best,


Rian A. Maercks M.D.

Silicone gel implants ripple less than saline implants

Silicone gel implants definitely ripple less than saline implants.  Overfilling saline implants by up to 10 or 15% will reduce rippling.  However, overfilling by 25% or more may paradoxically increase rippling and will cause your implants to be firmer than you may like.

Even overfilled saline implants ripple more than silicone gel implants.  

If you decide upon saline implants, they will ripple far less when placed under muscle (rather than above muscle) because the muscle adds a layer of camouflage.  I would also consider an overfill of up to 10 to 15%.

Ronald Friedman, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Saline vs. Silicone for Rippling

Typically, silicone tend to ripple less than saline.  That being said, any implant can ripple.  This is especially true in thin women.  Placing the implant under the muscle may also help hide the implant and decrease rippling.  Best to see a few board certified plastic surgeons.  Take photos with you of what you might want to look like.  Please have reasonable expectations.  Together you and the plastic surgeon can make an appropriate decision.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Silcone vs. Saline Breast Implant Rippling

I agree with previous posts:  in general, silicone breast implants tend to ripple less than saline breast implants, even when the saline breast implants are filled to the maximum recommended volume or slightly over filled.

Additionally, to minimize the appearance of ripples and palpable implant edges, breast implants on thin women should generally be placed under the muscle.

Jaime Perez, M.D.

Breast Implant Specialist in Tampa, Florida

Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, Florida  

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 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.