Rippling & Wrinkling

And Feeling the Implants Through Your Skin

Rippling

Dr. Vennemeyer and Dr. Loftus provide information on the risk of the rippling and wrinkling of a breast implant and how it is treated. They offer valuable information on what causes some women to experience wrinkling breast implants while others may experience rippling breast implants after a breast augmentation surgery. It is important to know beforehand that you may experience rippling and wrinkling problems after breast augmentation surgery and what you may do to reduce the risk.

In a saline breast implant, the liquid moves freely within the shell and can cause small waves like those seen on the surface of a pond. These waves can be transmitted to the skin, causing the breast to ripple on its inner and upper sides. Rippling gives the breast an unnatural appearance. Thin women are particularly prone to rippling because they have less tissue covering their implants after breast augmentation surgery.

Wrinkling

Wrinkling is the term plastic surgeons tend to use to describe an unnatural scalloping appearance that can occur on the side of the breast or underneath it after breast augmentation surgery. Again, thin women (and those with saline breast implants) are more prone to this.

Reducing Your Risk of Rippling and Wrinkling

Be aware that these terms can be confusing, as some plastic surgeons use them interchangeably. Implant type, implant fill, implant texture, and implant position can all affect the likelihood of the rippling of a breast implant. Saline breast implants are more likely to cause rippling and wrinkling than silicone breast implants, especially in thin women and women with a modest amount of breast tissue. Silicone implants are much less likely to ripple and wrinkle, even in thin women. They are also much less likely to be felt through the skin, whereas saline implants can typically be felt through the skin in thin women. Overfilled implants are less likely to ripple or wrinkle than nominally filled or underfilled implants. Some plastic surgeons advocate over-over filling to avoid this, but the implant manufacturers are not in support of that practice, as doing so may increase the risk of deflation. Textured breast implants are more likely to ripple and wrinkle than smooth breast implants. Implants placed under the muscle seldom ripple or wrinkle along the upper and inner side of the breast, but may do so on the lower and outer sides of the breast, as these sides are not covered by the pectoralis muscle. Implants placed over the muscle may ripple or wrinkle along any side of the implant. Women who start out with a more generous amount of breast tissue are much less likely to experience rippling and wrinkling, regardless of their decisions, than women who start out with a modest amount of breast tissue.