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What Causes Breast Implant Rippling?

3 Minute Read: 

Breast implant rippling is a complication that is sometimes experienced after breast augmentation surgery. While it is not the most common post-implant complication, it often sends women back for a breast revision procedure.

Sexy woman in red bra.

What Is Breast Implant Rippling?

Breast implant rippling is when a breast implant (either saline or silicone) can be seen through the breast skin. Here, the implant may appear wrinkled or folded.

While there is no way to prevent implant rippling from occurring entirely, there are some choices you can make regarding your breast enlargement that can help reduce the likelihood of this complication. 

What Contributes to Implant Rippling?

Implant Selection

Implants are available in saline or silicone materials and smooth or textured surfaces. Traditionally, saline implants tend to have a greater chance of rippling than silicone implants. This is because saline implants are more malleable and not as firm as silicone implants.

Additionally, textured implants have a tendency to ripple more than smooth implants do. This is because smooth implants can rotate freely in the breast pocket, whereas textured surfaces cannot.

Wrinkled white sheet

Implant Placement

You can choose to have your implants placed above (subglandular) or below (submuscular) the chest muscle. 

In general, implants placed above the chest muscle (but still below the glandular tissue) tend to ripple more often than those placed beneath the muscle. This is because subglandular implants do not have the extra coverage of the pectoral muscles. 

Your Natural Physique

Women who choose breast augmentation with implants do so to increase the fullness of their breasts. 

Some women who choose breast augmentation have very little natural breast tissue and would be considered very “flat-chested.” Women who fall into this category tend to experience rippling more often than women with a larger amount of natural tissue. 

Your natural tissue acts as a sort of padding between the implant and the skin. Without that padding, the edges of the implant are likely to show. Women with a small amount of natural tissue often choose to combine their augmentation with fat transfer to the breast, which helps to provide more cushion between the implant and the skin.

Here, fat is removed from other parts of the body (usually the abdomen, hips, thighs, or buttocks) with liposuction. This fat is purified and injected into the breasts.

Implant Size

Larger implants tend to pose a greater risk of rippling regardless of the amount of natural breast tissue (however, this is more prominent in women with thin tissue). 

Should I Choose the Implant With the Least Chance of Rippling?

While no woman wants to deal with implant rippling, the implants that pose the lowest risk of rippling also pose the highest rate of capsular contracture. 

Capsular contracture is the most common complication with breast augmentation and occurs when the scar tissue surrounding the implant hardens and begins to squeeze the implant. This causes physical pain and aesthetic distortion and requires breast implant removal with a capsulectomy (the removal of the scar tissue capsule).

Unfortunately, there is always a chance of complications with implants. This is why it is important to find a skilled plastic surgeon with significant experience in breast augmentation. They will discuss all of your options with you and evaluate your body to help you determine which implant best suits your needs. 

Interested in Learning More About Breast Augmentation?

If you want to learn more about breast implants or you notice that the edges of your current implants are becoming visible, contact the skilled team at AesthetiCare by calling 800-662-1055. We have Southern California offices in both Orange County and the Inland Empire.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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