Breast Implant Rippling: Is Fat Grafting Or Breast Implant Revision The Right Solution?

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Breast Implant Rippling: Is Fat Grafting Or Breast Implant Revision The Right Solution?

Avoiding The Ripple Effect

Breast implant rippling causes an implant to move unnaturally, creating a creased, rippling effect on the skin. The rippling is usually due to friction between the implant and the chest wall. This cosmetic defect is more likely to occur with saline implants. However, silicone implants can also ripple if the implant ruptures. In some cases, rippling can change the shape of the breast implant. A plastic surgeon can surgically fix the issue using fat grafting or breast implant revision.

What causes rippling?

Implants adhere to the underlying tissue, creating a pocket for fluid to fill. Filled implants should allow the breast to remain round and firm. However, the fluid can leak out if the implant has a tear or an infection develops. These changes cause the implant to lose shape and begin rippling. Rippling can also occur when the implant is inserted incorrectly or poor placement technique is used. In this case, the weight of the implant may cause rippling. In rare cases, rippling is a side effect of internal scarring that can develop around the implant over time. Rippling can cause patients to become self-conscious or feel dissatisfied with the results.

Is fat grafting the solution?

A surgeon may suggest fat grafting to address rippling. This treatment involves removing small amounts of fat from other parts of the body, then injecting the fat into the breasts. Fat grafting aims to fill the breasts and reduce the prominence of rippling. Injected fat solidifies after a few months, settles around the implant, and improves the appearance of the ripples. In some cases, the surgeon can also use the fat injected during fat grafting to add fullness to the breasts. Fat grafting is an effective option, but results can vary based on the cause of rippling and fat available for liposuction. Fat can also be reabsorbed by the body or develop oil cysts, creating future complications.

How about a do-over?

Breast implant revision involves surgically removing the implant and inserting a new one. The surgeon will reuse the incisions made in the initial surgery to replace the implant. The goal is to correct problems with the implant, such as tears, infections, capsular contracture, or rippling. This procedure also allows the surgeon to change the implant pocket, size, or location. Revision, unlike fat grafting, is a surgical procedure that requires some downtime. However, revision can provide better results.

Grafting or revision

Breast implant rippling is common after breast augmentation, but the problem is treatable. Fat grafting is an option for patients who don’t want to undergo breast surgery. On the other hand, patients who desire more improved size and better long-term results will benefit from breast implant revision. A board-certified plastic surgeon can review the rippling and recommend the best procedure.

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