Rippling is one of the potential complications of breast augmentation surgery. Rippling is a side effect in which folds in breast implants can be look or feel like ripples beneath the skin.
What Causes Breast Implant Rippling?
Experts estimate that rippling may affect up to 10% of individuals who undergo breast augmentation with implants. Not all cases are deemed severe enough to necessitate breast implant revision.
When breast implant surgery is performed, a saline or silicone shape is inserted beneath the skin, and usually also beneath muscle tissue. Common factors in the development of ripples include:
Insufficient Coverage from Soft Tissue
There are a few instances in which soft tissue coverage may be insufficient to adequately accommodate the selected implant. For example:
- A thin or petite patient chooses a large implant size.
- Subglandular placement, which is over the pectoralis muscle.
- Breast reconstruction after extensive resection mastectomy.
Rippling due to soft tissue coverage may not occur immediately. If a patient loses a substantial amount of weight, rippling may occur years after getting implants. Pregnancy and breastfeeding may also prompt changes to soft tissue and, as a result, rippling.
Asymmetry of Tethering
Breast implants are somewhat integrated into the pocket in which they are placed. Regardless of the consistency of technique across numerous cases, the fact remains that all patients heal differently. In some instances, tissue can contract around the implant slightly as healing occurs, causing a tethering effect that pulls on superficial tissue in an unexpected manner.
The Matter of Fill
Silicone implants are not likely to ripple because they are already full prior to insertion. Saline implants hold the potential for rippling between the core and the outer shell. This is because doctors will first, insert your saline implants and then fill them. This technique is performed as carefully as possible, yet there is still a degree of unpredictability that could lead to overfilling or underfilling, either of which can cause rippling.
The Solution to Rippling is Revision
There are two standard approaches to correct breast implant rippling. In some cases, it may make sense to add volume around the implant. This may mean our doctors will remove and replace that the existing implant with a smaller size, or different position beneath the pectoral muscle.
Over or underfilling of saline implants can cause rippling but Signature Plastic Surgery can correct the problem by removing or adding content. We offer this service in the office under local anesthetic. Sometimes, patients with saline implants prefer to switch to a silicone structure.