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Plastic Surgery/Breast Rippling after reconstruction surgery


Dear dr. Engler,

I had breast cancer surgery 8 months ago on my left breast.
The same day the general surgeon removed the cancer and surrounding tissue than the
Plastic surgeon came in and reconstructed my breast by giving me shape, re attached my areola and a lift using
My own breast tissue.  No implant used.  An anchor scar was used.
I have several ripples along the inner right Side of my left breast.
What would cause the rippling and can it be corrected?  When I google about rippling only implant rippling pops up?
Thank you

from Dr. Alan Engler
Member of #RealSelf100

Hi Kay,

I'll try to answer your question.  A photo could be helpful.  If you'd like to send one or more to my personal email, which is private, you can do so (  Otherwise, though, here's what I'd say:

Most cases of "rippling" do, in fact, involve breast implants, and most commonly saline filled (silicone implants can ripple but it is typically less common and less severe than with saline implants).  But irregularities of all types can occur with all procedures and, in your case, your plastic surgeon had to refashion your breast using remaining skin and breast tissue, and tailoring the skin around that new contour.  In so doing, there can be discrepancies between the lengths of incisions (the upper and lower part that are supposed to go together can be of different lengths) and so would need to be crimped a bit to get it to fit.  In addition, if there is a divot from the excision then the overlying skin may collapse into that a bit.

You would need to talk to your plastic surgeon to find out which of these might apply to you and what, if anything, can be done about it.

I'm obviously very sorry for what you've gone through - but glad that "all" we're talking about is some rippling following breast cancer surgery!

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. Alan Engler

Plastic Surgery

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Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS


Dr. Engler has answered over 6600 questions on social media sites, including over 3500 on AllExperts alone. His expertise includes breast surgery (breast enlargement with implants, breast reduction, breast lifts), liposuction, eyelid surgery, tummy tucks, facelifts, lipomas, skin cancers, cysts, etc. Dr. Engler has been listed as one New York`s Top Doctors, and as "One of the World's Most Famous Aesthetic Surgeons" (Aesthetic Surgery, TASCHEN Books, Angelika Taschen, Editor). He is the author of 4 books, including "BodySculpture" (a best-selling plastic surgery book on breast surgery, liposuction and tummy tucks), "EyeScapes" (Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids), "Restylane," and "The Slim Book of Liposuction." Dr. Engler has two US Patents for surgical instruments that he's designed, and has appeared on numerous television shows, including The Tyra Banks Show, The Ricki Lake Show (four times), the Dr. Keith Ablow Show and Jerseylicious. Videos of his appearances are available on YouTube (search for "DR. ENGLER"), and his discussion of breast implants, also on YouTube is "How to Choose a Breast Implant." His website is Follow Dr. Engler: @AlanEnglerMD


Dr. Alan Engler is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York and the author of BodySculpture - Plastic Surgery of the Body for Men and Women (ISBN 0966382749) one of the top-selling plastic surgery books on,, as well as EyeScapes - Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids.

Dr. Engler graduated from Yale University (BA, Russian Studies) and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (MD). He did his residency training in General Surgery and, after that, Plastic Surgery, at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York. He is on the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in the Departments of both Surgery (Plastic Surgery) and Medicine (Dermatology), and is a Special Lecturer in the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York. He has admitting privileges at Beth Israel Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center, both in New York.

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