Breast Implants

What Is Breast Implant Rippling?

Rippling is when you can see the implant through the skin and honestly, is likely. Here's what to do and what not to do.

What is rippling?

Rippling is seeing or feeling an imperfection in the breast implant through the skin. Typically rippling is more common or noticeable in women with very little subcutaneous fat and/or breast tissue. 

This happens when the implant folds in on itself, causing the shell to “ripple” or “bunch up."

Spoiler alert: most women choosing to get breast implant surgery don’t have a ton of dense breast tissue to begin with (shocker!), and thus we have our ripple effect.

Where does rippling happen?

The most common area women notice rippling is the lower side of the breast, mainly because we typically have less tissue there naturally.

However, depending on your implant placement, you may also be able to see the implant at the top or upper pole of the breast.

Is there a way to avoid it?

We can't really control the amount of natural tissue we have, but there are some other things we can helm.

In addition to the amount of breast tissue or subcutaneous fat, the type and placement of the implant also play a role in rippling.

But to be completely upfront, if you’re looking for rippling, you’ll probably be able to find it. Remember what we said about the relationship between tissue and rippling?

However, we hear all the time in the Bustmob Community (a supportive women-only plastic surgery group), rippling isn’t really noticeable in their day-to-day or even in a bathing suit. 

In some cases, your plastic surgeon may suggest a fat graft or fat transfer procedure to help correct minor imperfections.

Ready to get deep? Let’s dive into the rippling waters. 

Saline or silicone: which implant ripples the most?

Saline implants are the most likely to visibly ripple with fifth-generation silicone gel implants being the least likely to ripple. 

To help reduce ripping in saline implants, some plastic surgeons will fill the implant with 25-50ccs over the actual shell volume. Still, saline implants are more likely to ripple than all silicone implants.

However, within the realm of silicone, there is some hierarchy. The newest, fifth-generation gummy bear breast implants ripple less than the silicone implants before them. 

With each new generation of implants, the silicone gel filling the implant became more cohesive, or gummy bear-like (hence the nickname gummy bear implants), which made them less likely to ripple. In other words, the older generation, the more likely it is to ripple.

To learn more about the differences between silicone and saline implants watch the full breast augmentation series in the free Bustmob Academy app

Why does breast implant placement matter?

Some breast augmentations, aka implant placements, are more likely to ripple than others. What do we mean by that?

Basically, where and how your plastic surgeon places the implant can help lower or increase the chances of rippling (learn more about implant placement in the Bustmob Academy app).

The two main types of breast implant placements are:

  1. Over the muscle/subglandular implant placement
  2. Under the muscle/submuscular implant placement
Subglandular. breast implant placement and submuscular breast implant placement
Subglandular implant placement (left) & submuscular implant placement (right)

Under the muscle or submuscular placement, is less likely to ripple because about a third to two-thirds of the implant is tucked under the pectoral major muscle, which can significantly reduce rippling especially at the top of the breast. 

However, with over the muscle, the implant doesn’t have the chest muscle to provide a barrier and can, in some cases, increase the visibility of the implant.

Look and you’ll probably find. 

If you’re looking for rippling, you’re likely to find it.

As we’ve mentioned, many of the women getting breast implants don’t have an excess of natural breast tissue, which is one of the main factors in rippling.

After a breast augmentation, women spend a lot of time looking in their bathroom mirrors, admiring their new figure, taking progress photos, and in some cases on the prowl for imperfections. 

Here’s the deal, if you’re looking for imperfections, you will find them.

Even after a breast augmentation or any plastic surgery procedure for that matter, your body will still have some imperfections and asymmetry (all bodies are naturally asymmetrical). Plastic surgery doesn’t mean perfection

However, for most women, when they are moving, sitting, or laying naturally, those imperfections aren’t noticeable, but the beautiful results are. 

The Bustmob GoalFinder is an awesome resource for seeing real results on real women. 

You can search our unique database with thousands of plastic surgery after photos by patient stats like height and weight along with procedure and implant details to see breast implants on frames similar to yours. Perfection or not, you’re likely to see some incredible and inspiring results. 

Seeing other women’s results can help you set realistic goals and expectations so you’re in the captain's seat during your consultation. 

Found this helpful, but want more? 

Good news! This is just one of hundreds of fun, factual videos on the Bustmob Academy app to make your plastic surgery research easy.

From commonly told myths and FAQs, to recovery time and costs, Jenny Eden, founder of Bustmob, and Gretta Nance, lead educator at Amelia Aesthetics, break down your plastic surgery research into bite-size, binge-able pieces. 

Ready to learn everything about plastic surgery?

The free Bustmob Academy app is the perfect place to learn everything about the procedure you're considering.

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Jenny Eden
Founder, Bustmob Community
Dr. Michelle Roughton
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Ready to learn everything about plastic surgery?
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