I Feel Saline Implant Valve

I have Mentor Saline HP Smooth Round 380 cc Implants filled to 450. They were placed by INF approach and placed dual plane. I can palpate a ridge, approximately the size of a quarter to the right of my nipple on my right breast and it's smooth in the center. I have already had several consultations with PS's and I have been told that I have bottomed out and have lateral displacement as well so I need revision surgery but was just wondering if this is normal?

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Implant valve and Malposition

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Thank you for the question.

Yes it is possible in the rare  patient to feel the implant valve associated with saline breast implants. 

Also, as you describe, one of the most common complications after breast augmentation surgery is implant mal-position. This occurs when the implant is in an incorrect position on the chest wall. This may include incorrect position of the implant superiorly (“riding high”), inferiorly (“bottoming out”), medially (“symmastia or uni-boob”) or laterally (falling outward into the axilla).

Revisionary surgery may be useful and often involves the use of internal sutures ( capsulorraphy)  or opening a breast implant pockets (capsulotomy)  as the patient specific circumstances warrant.

 I hope this helps.

Implant Valve and Malposition

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You raise two questions. Yes you may be feeling the implant valve particularly if you have thin skin. This is inconsequential. The other problem is lateral displacement and bottoming out. Revisional surgery with placement of internal sutures called a capsulorrhaphy or another procedure using a neo capsule may be beneficial. You should discuss these options with your plastic surgeons. A gel implant may give a better feel and be  better if you have thinning skin.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

Saline breast implant palpability: Convert to Silicone

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Implant palpability is the most common difference in saline breast implants as compared to silicone breast implants. The deformity you are feeling may represent the breast implant valve. This could be alleviated with a change of breast implants from saline to silicone. please refer to a board certified plastic surgeon for this problem.

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Saline implant valve can be palpable.

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In thin individuals with overfilled saline implants, the valve can sometimes be felt. As for the bottoming out and lateral displacement, it sounds as though your overall tissues are not supporting the implants very well. Consider the use of a dermal matrix (Strattice) to provide an "internal bra" for longer term support. If your muscle has window-shaded and the overlying breast tissue is quite thin, the Strattice can also help camouflage the implant valve. Switching to gel implants will also eliminate the valve issue. Best of luck.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

I Feel Saline Implant Valve

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Feeling the anterior valve is the norm in slender individuals. As for re operation you posted no photos so can not advise. 

Saline Breast Implant Valve Palpability

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It is possible you are feeling the valve of the saline implant or you may be feeling scar tissue that has attached to the valve. Either way, your remaining breast tissue must be fairly thin to be able to palpate it. There is no harm to the implant or your breast because it can be felt. Given that you may be considering revisional surgery for implant repositioning, it may be wise to consider changing to silicone implants.  Silicone implants are not manufactured with valves in them since they are prefilled. Given that you can feel the saline implant valve, it is likely you may be able to feel some implant rippling as well or will so in the future if further breast tissue thinning occurs. 

Implant valve

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Saline implants have exactly waht you describe a valve that is the size of a quarter where you will feel it below the nipple or to the side.  Silicone implants do not have this.

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

Thin soft tissue coverage

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It sounds like the tissue coverage you have is thin. Your implants are likely too large for that coverage. A change to gel might solve the problem to an extent as well as downsizing your implants. You need to be evaluated to ascertain your options.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Feeling a valve on a saline implant

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This can happen with saline implants in certain cases. You may consider converting to silicone implants which do not have valves. Your tissue also may have thinned out which is contributing to the valve's prominence. A board certified plastic surgeon can outline a surgical plan for your revision.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 411 reviews

Feeling an implant valve after augmentation

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The valve on a saline breast implant is on the back side, and even if the implant has turned over it should be very difficult to feel the valve. Your breast must have thinned over the overfilled saline implant. A silicone gel implant will be a better choice if you choose a revision.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.