Can Breast Implants Be Felt?

I'm 17. I have Poland Syndrome. This is a rare disorder, and luckily I have a pretty mild case that only affects my breasts. In short, this disorder makes it that my breasts are not symmetrical. My right breast is entirely flat compared to my left. My left breast is still very small. Anyways, I'm getting corrective surgery soon, and my doctor wants to put in saline implants in both breasts. I'm worried my boyfriend will feel them and see them. Are silicone dangerous? What are your thoughts?

Doctor Answers 7

Safe Implants

Thank you for your questions!  I would advise you to seek a board certified plastic surgeon, and have a consultation and sizing.  Best of luck!
Dr Dhaval PatelDouble Board CertifiedPlastic SurgeonChicagoHoffman EstatesOak Brook

Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Can Breast Implants be Felt?


Breast implants are among the most tested medical devices. Extensive studies in tens of thousands of patients with breast implants have shown that both saline and silicone implants are safe. After vigorous evaluation by the FDA, both are approved for use. Both saline and silicone implants are available for reconstructive procedures. Silicone implants are available for patients over 22 years of age for cosmetic reasons.


Breast implants can be felt through the breast tissue especially in patients who don’t have very much breast tissue. You should discuss the pros and cons of the procedures and the various types of implants with your plastic surgeon who should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

Robert Singer, MD  FACS
La Jolla, California


Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Poland's Syndrome and Breast Implants

All cosmetic surgery is a trade-off.  All breast implants can, to some extent, the felt.  Usually, however, you have to really try and feel them.  Saline implants, particularly under minimal breast tissue coverage, are more palpable than silicone implants.  This is because silicone has a similar viscosity to normal breast fat much more so than saline.  When the procedure is done correctly and there is no subsequent capsular contracture, it is almost impossible to tell visually that an implant is present.  This is also true with Poland's syndrome.  I have done many patients with this problem and all of them have been exceedingly happy with the results.  Both saline and silicone implants are extremely safe.  The new silicone implants are especially so.  I would also not worry about her boyfriend.  I have yet to encounter a boyfriend or husband who is dissatisfied with their partner's breast enhancement.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Can Breast Implants Be Felt?

Saline implants are not dangerous. They can be felt and the less breast tissue you have the closer the implants are to the skin and the more obvious they may be. The silicone implants are less obvious to the feel in most patients but are only used in patients under 22 years old if the surgeon thinks there is a compelling reason to avoid saline.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Silicone implants and Poland's syndrome

I've treated a few patients with Poland's syndrome. In most of the cases, I used a saline filled tissue expander to establish a breast mound and then exchanged that expander for a silicone implant. 

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Breast Implant Palpability & Poland's Syndrome

Thank you for your questions.  Breast implants can definately be felt through breast tissue. This is more of an issue if you have very little breast tissue or if you use saline implants.  Silicone implants have less wrinkling and palpability in patients with little breast tissue, but they are still palpable.  If long term palpability is a concern, it sounds like you would be a better candidate for silicone. The only reason this option was not presented is because the FDA recommends that silicone not be used in minors.  You have to be at least 18 for silicone.  If palpability is your major concern, I would consider delaying your procedure until you are a candidate for silicone augmentation.  There are more options in terms of implant shape and size with silicone that will give you a more symmetric result. Discuss this matter further with your surgeon

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Silicone and saline breast implants can be felt after surgery

Regardless of the type of implant used and placement of the implant (subglandular or submuscular), you will be able to feel your implants. Your plastic surgeon should be able to discuss details of the difference between silicone and saline, as well the risks. Good luck with your surgery.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 164 reviews

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.