Can Breast Implants Ever Feel Completely Natural?

Can breast implants ever feel like natural breasts or do they always feel fake? Is there a special implant you can get that feels quite natural? Can you combine implants with fat transfer?

Doctor Answers 22

Feel of breast implants varies from person to person.

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There is significant variation of the degree of softness and how breasts feel from person to person, even in those who have never had breast surgery. There are multiple factors in how the breasts will feel after an augmentation:

·    1.      The fill material of the implant: Generally the feel of silicone is more natural than that of saline, especially in a person with very little breast tissue.

·     2.    The amount of a person’s own breast tissue: If someone has a fair amount of their own breast tissue, then the feel of saline versus silicone is not as important because the existing breast tissue provides a thicker cover over the implant.

·     3.    The position of the implant. Sub-muscular or sub-glandular: If an implant is under the muscle, there is additional tissue that covers the implant, usually resulting in a softer feel.

·     4.   The configuration of the implant: Higher profile implants may feel firmer. Form stable implants also known as highly cohesive gel implants and commonly called “gummy bear implants”, which may be appropriate in some patients, are claimed to feel more natural, but are actually firmer than the other current types of silicone implants.

·     5.   The implant covering: Smooth surface implants move more naturally than textured implants, so they feel more natural, especially when someone lies down.

·     6.   Implant size. Very large implants usually do not feel or look as natural. Saline implants that are significantly over-filled definitely feel firmer.

·     7.     Capsular contraction: Implants initially feel tighter and firmer and then get softer unless there is a tightening of the internal scar that forms around an implant which can make the breast feel firmer. It occurs in a lower rate with saline implants and in a sub-muscular position.

·     8.    The plastic surgeon: It is not only the type and position of the implant that is important in achieving an outcome. It is also the plastic surgeon. To maximize the probability of having a pleasing result, have a consultation with a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and address your concerns    .

Most patients who have undergone a breast augmentation are happy they did it.


Robert Singer, MD  FACS

La Jolla, California

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast implants

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Breast implants can certainly feel natural in several situations.  First, silicone usually feels more natural than saline.  More soft tissue coverage( breast tissue, under the muscle) enhance the coverage, and implants that are not too large in comparison to the amount of tissue volume.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How "Natural" Do Breast Implants Feel?

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Concern about whether an implant feels real is valid. That said, it is better to not let it confuse you in your implant selection.

The implant you choose will be based on what size and shape meet your desired look. To avoid making your decision more confusing or difficult, here is what you need to know about implant feel.

First off, many surgeons, including myself, are now only placing implants below the muscle. (There is a strong list of reasons why we go this route.) Although saline (with a water balloon consistency) does feel less realistic than silicone (which has a thicker consistency) if you are holding the implants in your hands, it is a different story when they are behind breast tissue AND muscle. Since there is muscle and also flesh over the implants, the difference in their feel becomes negligible.

For example, when you hold a saline implants in your hand, they do feel like water-balloons. But they will feel more natural going under the muscle because you have more of your body's own soft tissue over them. Also, the more breast tissue you have, the more natural they will feel. Imagine trying to feel the same saline implant under a thick pillow. You'll feel the pillow more than anything else. That's how it works.

Natural looks can be achieved with any implant type. The natural look is a function of staying within your body's measurements, which your plastic surgeon will take.

Larger implants may feel less real than smaller ones. But the difference is not important enough for patients whose beauty goal is set on a bigger, fuller look (while still appearing natural, of course).

One may be able to tell the difference between the feel of breasts with and without implants. But in my experience, I have found that patients are happy with the feel of their breasts whether they go with saline, silicone, or anatomic (gummy bear). It may be comforting to know the subtle differences among the feel of the implants, but I would not let it make your decision more difficult.

Implants should not feel hard. If they do, this is mostly like due to a complication known as capsular contracture. If a patient experiences this complication, she should be evaluated by her plastic surgeon. If the diagnosis is made of capsular contracture, depending on its severity, the implants may need to be removed and replaced.

I hope that answers your question on choosing the right implant. It’s great that you’re doing this research. I always say that the best patients are informed patients.

You might also want to research your options for breast implants. Choosing the right implant is the number one concern among women considering breast augmentation. Did you know, there’s actually a way to select a implant shape, size, and profile that is perfect for you?

A term that I use with my patients for the perfect implant is the “Pony Implant”.

So what do I mean by “perfect”? Well, a Pony Implant has three qualities to it. First, the implant meets your beauty goals. For example, you want to your breasts to look fuller while still appearing natural.

Second, when you chose your Pony Implant, you walk out of your consultation 100% confident that you’ve chosen the right shape and size for you. In other words, you won’t be second guessing your decision, and you won’t be afraid of having gone too big or too small.

And third, after your procedure, you are thrilled with your results, and say, "I’m so happy. This is exactly what I wanted!"

That’s the Pony Implant. And the great news is that there is a simple process to go about finding yours.

This issue of selecting the right implant is so important when it comes to patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction that, again, I really encourage you to learn more about it.

Thank you for reading and best of luck on your journey!

William Rahal, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Will my breasts look and feel natural?

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Thank you for your question. Yes. It is normal that they will feel swollen and firm for the first few weeks after surgery, but they will then settle. Best of luck!Dhaval M. Patel Double board certified Plastic surgeon Hoffman Estates barrington Oakbrook Chicago 

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Can breast implants ever feel completely natural?

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Thank you for your question.  Yes, breast implants can definitely feel very natural in many situations.  Silicone gel implants tend to look and feel much more natural than saline implants do, especially when placed below the chest or pectoralis muscle.  Implant size selection is also very important when patients ultimate goal is to have a natural augmentation.  It is important not to go too big in implant size and that the more breast tissue you have to begin with, the better implant coverage and more natural your result will be.   I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your cosmetic surgery goals in more detail.  Best of luck!

Natural looking and feeling results

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Factors such as technique, placement and implant type all contribute to how real implants look and feel, and these factors are all determined by a patient's unique physiology and expectations. However, in general, when it comes to implants cohesive silicone gel are considered to look and feel more natural.

Natural feeling breast implants...

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Breast Augmentation is an excellent procedure to have if you are concerned with your breast size.  Breast enlargement can add curves and definition to the body's profile, while enhancing a persons breast size, and making one feel more confident about one's appearance.  No implant can ever give you the feeling of a totally natural breast.  However, if you are looking for an implant to give you the most natural feel, then silicone implants would be an excellent option.  Silicone implants have a soft silicone shell that is filled with silicone gel, and they have a smooth textural feel to them.  While Saline implants have a silicone shell that is filled to your desired size with sterile saline, they do not feel as natural as silicone.  Be sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.




Naturally Feeling Breast Implants

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No surgeon can honestly guarantee naturally feeling breast implants.  However, your best chance for breast implants which both appear and feel natural are silicone implants placed below the chest muscle by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants

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Many patients who have had the armpit/axillary incision (so no incision is visible on the breast) report their GYN doctor could not tell the difference during their annual breast exams.  This includes patients who have had silicone as well as saline implants.  So, yes, this is possible.  The "gummy bear" implants (which have not been cleared by the FDA in the US) are reported by some to be quite firm.  Implants are often combined with fat transfer in reconstructive patients.  All the best, "Dr. Joe" Gryskiewicz

Natural implants

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there is a lot of discussion about this topic but after 20 years as a plastic surgeon and 40 years as a heterosexual male,  i would say the answer is no

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.