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Would rippling necessarily have to be corrected?


I had silicone implants 20 years ago. I had them replaced with saline 9 years ago. My mammogram in June was normal. I've lost weight and noticed rippling in mid-August. I'm older and it's ok with me since it's not that unusual. Would it necessarily have to be corrected?


Rippling of the breast implant is seen more common with saline implants. It is also more common with loss of breast volume and less coverage for the implant. The mere presence of rippling is not an indication for surgery unless it is bothering the patient.

How ever if there is a fold in the implant shell then surgery may be needed as a fold may cause weakness of the shell.


Thank you for your question.  Rippling of saline implants is common and poses no risk or danger to you.  If you are satisfied with the look and feel of your breast implants there is no reason to change or modify them as long as the rippling does not bother you.


Rippling is much more common with saline implants, especially when the amount of breast tissue over the implants is thinner. Rippling is not, however, a cause for concern for the implant or health reasons. If the rippling doesn't bother you, I would leave it alone.

In cases where rippling is a problem, there are options. These could include moving the implant to a submuscular location and/or changing to a silicone (gel) implant which has a lower chance of rippling or even the option of possibly having some fat grafting done to the breast(s) to camouflage the rippling.

If you do choose to have something done, seek advice from your local ASAPS members. All ASAPS members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and have shown a special interest and experience in cosmetic surgery.


Rippling with saline implants is fairly common but it may contribute to implant "wear and tear" which could result in deflation of the implant. That is also a harmless event but you are entitled to have nice breasts at any age!

Richard A. Baxter, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Mountlake Terrace, WA


Rippling is a feature of normal breasts without implants. Implants do increase the chance that this will happen, however. There is no need to do anything, therefore, if it does not bother you. 


Rippling After Breast Surgery- It is not uncommon in patients with thin skin and no breast tissue to have rippling, especially with saline more than silicone implants. It is difficult to correct but, one can do so with fat augmentation and/or use of an ADM (Allo graft derived matrix).  



All implants ripple. Saline filled implants ripple the most, smooth wall gel filled implants ripple less and textured gel implants ripple least. The new formed, shaped implants probably ripple even less but have not be used to extensively. There is no danger from ripples being seen or felt since they are always there. There is no need to treat them unless the patient does not want them to be seen or felt. There are a number of ways to correct the appearance or feel of ripples. Implants that are under the breast can be placed under the muscle. Saline implants can be exchanged for textured gel. Thin amounts of breast tissue can be augmented with fat grafting. All of these techniques are available but are not necessary unless the patient so desires to have a correction.


It does not have to be corrected. It is primarily a cosmetic issue and if it doesn't bother you then don't worry about it.


Rippling is more common with saline implants than with silicone gel implants. Patients with little natural breast tissue and those with weight loss may experience more rippling. Unless the cosmetic appearance concerns you, it is not necessary to have it corrected,. It can be improved by changing to a silicone gel implant, fat injections, or with the insertion  use of material called acellular dermal matrix (ADM).

 I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS La Jolla, California 


Skin rippling is very normal and expected with normal saline breast implants.  They do not need to be removed or change to silicone implants since the rippling does not concern you.  Good luck.

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