One complication that can occur after a breast implant is known as rippling.
Rippling simply means that the skin over the implant feels or looks wrinkled up. Surveys indicate that rippling may be occurring in at least 10-15% of women. Rippling looks like indentations or waves on the surface of the breast. this is similar to a water bed with slight irregularities visible when the water is moving.
In most cases it occurs during movement.
When the rippling is mild, it may not be obvious to the naked eye but may be felt as the hand is moved over the implant. When the rippling is moderate to severe, the skin wrinkling may be obvious. Today, rippling after a breast implant is well recognized and many factors which cause it are understood.
Rippling of the skin is most likely when:
- a breast implant is placed in an individual with thin skin and very little fat layer underneath the skin.
- Rippling is rare in individuals who have a thick layer of fat underneath the skin
- Large size women in general have a low incidence of rippling compared to women who are small and thin
- Rippling is also more likely to occur when the original breast size is small and a breast implant is placed above the chest muscles (subglandular)
- Rippling is slightly less when the implants are inserted into women with naturally large breast
- Large breast implants when placed in thin people or in individuals with thin skin are likely going to cause rippling of the skin. The entire implant must be covered by skin that is thick and has a decent amount of fatty tissue.
- In general rippling is more likely to occur with saline implants rather than silicone filled implants
- Breast implants are covered by an outer shell. When the outer shell is made of a smooth covering, the incidence of rippling is low. However, implants with an uneven texture are more prone to rippling.
- Any implant which is not filled to its size has the potential to cause rippling. The correct volume of saline must be inserted to properly expand the implant
Rippling of the skin after a breast implant can occur anywhere on the skin but is most apparent around the edges of the implant and along the cleavage lines.
In some women, the wrinkling may also occur on the surface and the top of the implant. This is most common when the implant has not been adequately filled to its capacity volume.
The treatment of rippling depends on the degree and how obvious it is. Mild degrees of rippling may not be obvious and the individual may find it acceptable. However, when the rippling is obvious may women find the skin texture discomforting and want something done about it.
When the rippling is due to lack of volume, surgery may be required to refill the implant. The surgery is usually not extensive but does require making a small incision.
In some cases, rippling may have been avoided by placing the breast implant behind the chest muscles.
To avoid rippling it is important to have a proper consultation with a board certified surgeon. A physical examination of the breasts is vital before the surgery.
Understand all the pros and cons about breast implants before jumping into surgery. In many cases, complications occur because the individual is in a big rush to get big boobs.
Take your time- breast implants are strictly elective surgery.