Can You Feel the Saline Port on the Breast Implant?

Can You Feel the Saline Port on the Breast Implant?

Doctor Answers 11

Saline Port...

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With saline implants that have an anterior port (port on the front of the implant) ...The port is typically located beneath the position of your areola.  Typically it is palpable if you know what you're feeling for.  There is a small cap that goes into the port to prevent scar tissue from growing into the port and pushing it open.  I did have one interesting case when I saw a saline breast augmentation patient of mine in the hospital waiting room, waiting for a breast biopsy procedure.  I felt the 'breast lump' which was merely the cap from her saline implant that somehow pulled away from the port and could be felt on the surface.  A small bit of manipulation replaced the cap into its correct position inside the port.  The biopsy was then cancelled.

Moral of the story is that after breast augmentation, regardless of the implant you use, a Plastic Surgeon should always be part of your consultation process before any biopsy is done.  I have performed over 4000 cosmetic breast procedures and this is the only time I have heard of this scenario.  Still, it's a good idea to involve a Plastic Surgeon in the decision-making process.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Yes, the saline filler port can be felt in some patients.

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This is most commonly noted with above-the-muscle placement (not recommended for saline as there is much higher likelihood for ripple visibility and palpability, not to mention increased risk of capsular contracture from ductal bacteria biofilm on the implants), and very thin and small-breasted women (also a relative contraindication for saline implants because of the increased edge or ripple concerns).

I have had patients go so far as to note the filler port as a tiny "lump," see their physician, who orders a mammogram, and even schedules a consultation with a general surgeon for "possible breast biopsy," only to finally decide that since there is an implant in the breast they had better get the patient's plastic surgeon in the loop. I see the patient, have them examine the OTHER breast (the one nobody has been looking at since the "lump" is in the first-examined breast) and lo and behold, there's another identical "lump" that represents the palpable filler port. All worry and tests and time wasted for what should have been eliminated first by a visit to the plastic surgeon (in my case, also a fully-trained and American Board of Surgery-certified general surgeon before plastic surgery training).

I would also seriously consider both silicone gel implants and below-the-muscle placement for a more natural look, softer and more homogeneous (like breast tissue) "feel," and no risk of deflation requiring re-operation. There is also a much lower risk of visible or palpable rippling with silicone implants. Please see my article (on the About tab of my profile page on this site) titled: "Are Silicone Breast Implants Safe?" for more information, or click on the link below. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Palpable saline fill port with subgalndular implants

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The saline implant fill port and its plug can sometimes be felt in patients who have implants on top of the muscle and very little breast tissue to cover up them up.  This is just one more of many reasons why breast implants are better under the muscle.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Saline implant palpability

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Yes I have had patients who are able to feel the breast implant valve, usually directly underneath the areola.  One  patient experienced discomfort in this area that  resolved  after  the saline implants were removed and replaced with silicone gel implants (no valves).

in general, the more coverage (breast tissue) the patient has the less likely she is to feel the valve or any other part of the saline  implant.  Patients  with very little soft tissue coverage may be better candidates for  silicone gel implants (everything else being equal).

I hope this helps.

Can You Feel the Saline Port on the Breast Implant?

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So after reading each experts posting, you can see that YES saline ports can be felt in over 90% of responders. The one dissenter can only base this his own personal surgery experience. In my 34 years of practice I have seen this more commonly in very thin women but also have been able to palpate the port in full breasted women. It is not a real issue unless you are having pain. 

What Features of Saline Implants Can Be Noted by Others

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Saline implants can reveal more implant characteristics in thin patients than those who have a sufficient amount of breast tissue to cover the implant.  That can result in the fill valve being felt through the tissues.  Occasionally a patient will be fearful that they have found a new breast lump when they discover the valve for the first time. The edges of the saline implant envelope  can be visible or palpable.  This can be seen as wrinkling, especially along the lower outer border of the breast. Saline implants are not as dense as gel implants.  This is more apparent when the overlying breast is smaller.  Because of these features, thin women often prefer the use of silicone implants for a more natural appearance.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Feeling the port of a saline implant has not been a problem

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I have never experience a case where I or the patient has been able to feel the port of a saline implant.  I believe that the port should be placed anteriorly directly under the nipple areola.  Although I have not seen a problem if it is placed against the back of the pocket.  But I do not think that being able to feel the port should be a concern with saline implants.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Port Or Valve Of Saline Implant Sometimes Palpable

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I have been able to feel or palpate the one-way valve of certain saline implants.  This is especially true for very thin patients who have had their implants placed above the muscle.  Silicone implants obviate this problem since they have no valves.  It is also less likely with saline implants placed below the muscle, but can still sometimes occur.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Feeling the port of a saline breast implant is possible

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Yes it is possible to feel the port of a saline implant.  If you are very skinny and do not have a lot of fat under the skin (and over the implant) than if you feel your implants you may be able to feel the port. It should not be anything that is visible but may be possible to feel.  It may be one reason why you would want to choose a silicone implant over a saline implant.  Saline implants do have some advantages, so you should discuss your options with your board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience with both saline and silicone implants.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 519 reviews

Saline implant, feel

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Yes, it is possible to feel the port, although not common.  If you feel any mass or lump in your breast you need to see your surgeon as soon as possible to be reassured it is part of the implant and not something that needs to be biopsied.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.