Do Breast Implants Show Up On Airport Scanners?

Going through airport security can cause anxiety for anyone, but perhaps especially so if you have breast implants. You may worry about whether the implants will set off the scanner alarm and cause more invasive screening.

This comprehensive guide tells you everything you need to know about whether breast implants show up on airport scanners.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: In most cases, breast implants should not set off airport scanner alarms or require extra screening if the implants are saline or silicone gel-filled. Metal implants would be detected. Notify the TSA officer beforehand if you have implants.

In this nearly 3,000 word article, we will dive deep into the details around breast implants and airport security. We’ll explore the different types of implants, what happens when going through airport scanners, tips for navigating security, regulations around implants for airline staff, and more.

Let’s begin.

Breast Implant Basics: Saline, Silicone, and Other Types

When considering breast augmentation, it is important to understand the different types of implants available. The two most common types are saline implants and silicone implants, but there are also alternative options to consider.

This article will provide an overview of these implant types and their characteristics.

Saline implants

Saline implants are filled with a sterile saline solution. They are inserted into the breast pocket while empty, and then filled once they are in place. One advantage of saline implants is that they can be adjusted in size during the surgery, allowing for more flexibility in achieving the desired look.

In the event of a rupture, the saline solution is harmlessly absorbed by the body. The downside is that some women find that saline implants feel less natural than silicone implants.

Silicone implants

Silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel that closely resembles the feel of natural breast tissue. Many women prefer silicone implants because they tend to look and feel more natural. They are also less likely to ripple or wrinkle compared to saline implants.

In the event of a rupture, the silicone gel may stay within the implant shell or leak into the surrounding breast tissue. Regular monitoring is recommended to detect any ruptures.

Alternative implant options

Aside from saline and silicone implants, there are other types of breast implants available, though they are less commonly used. Some alternative options include:

  • Gummy bear implants: These implants are made of a cohesive gel that maintains its shape, even if the implant shell is damaged.
  • Structured implants: These implants have an internal structure that provides additional support and shape to the breasts.
  • Autologous fat transfer: This procedure involves using fat from other parts of the body to enhance the breasts. It is a natural alternative to implants.

It is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine which type of implant is best suited for your body and desired outcome. They will be able to provide personalized recommendations based on your unique circumstances.

Do Implants Set Off Airport Scanners?

Many people wonder if breast implants will set off airport scanners. The answer to this question depends on the type of scanner being used and the materials of the implants.

Walk-through metal detectors

Walk-through metal detectors are commonly used at airport security checkpoints. These detectors are designed to detect metal objects on a person’s body. Breast implants, whether saline or silicone, typically do not contain enough metal to set off these detectors.

Therefore, it is unlikely that breast implants will cause any issues when passing through walk-through metal detectors.

Full-body scanners

Full-body scanners use advanced imaging technology to detect both metallic and non-metallic objects on a person’s body. These scanners can create a detailed image of the body, including breast implants.

However, modern breast implants are made from materials that do not contain metal, such as silicone or saline. Therefore, they are unlikely to be flagged by full-body scanners.

Pat-downs and other screening

If a person’s breast implants are detected during the screening process, additional screening procedures may be required. This could include a pat-down or a visual inspection of the implants. It is important to note that airport security personnel are trained to handle these situations with professionalism and respect.

It is recommended that individuals with breast implants inform the security personnel about their implants before going through the screening process. This can help facilitate a smoother and more efficient screening experience.

Tips for Going Through Airport Security with Implants

Notify TSA agents

When traveling with breast implants, it is important to inform the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the airport before going through the security screening process. While breast implants are generally not an issue during security checks, it is always better to be proactive and let the agents know about them.

This will help avoid any confusion or unnecessary delays during the security screening process.

Carry documentation

It is a good idea to carry documentation that proves you have breast implants. This can include a letter from your plastic surgeon or any other relevant medical documents. Although it is not a requirement, having this documentation can help in case there are any questions or concerns raised during the security screening process.

It adds an extra layer of assurance for both you and the TSA agents.

Know your rights

As a passenger with breast implants, it is important to know your rights when going through airport security. The TSA has specific guidelines in place to ensure the privacy and dignity of all passengers, including those with medical implants.

If you encounter any issues or feel uncomfortable during the screening process, don’t hesitate to speak up and assert your rights. The TSA agents are trained to handle these situations with sensitivity and respect.

Special Regulations for Airline Staff with Implants

For airline staff who have undergone breast implant surgery, there are certain considerations to keep in mind when going through airport security. While breast implants generally do not cause any issues during the screening process, it is important to be aware of the special regulations in place for airline staff with implants.

1. Metal Detectors vs. Full Body Scanners

In most cases, breast implants will not set off metal detectors at airport security checkpoints. This is because breast implants are typically made of silicone or saline, which are not metallic substances.

However, if you have undergone breast reconstruction using implants that contain metal, such as those with a metal shell or valve, it is advisable to inform the security personnel before going through the metal detector.

Full body scanners, on the other hand, use advanced imaging technology to create a detailed image of the body. These scanners can detect any unusual or suspicious objects, including breast implants. If you have implants, it is important to let the security personnel know about them before going through the full body scanner.

They may ask you to undergo an additional screening, such as a pat-down, to confirm the presence of the implants.

2. Documentation and Communication

Airline staff who have undergone breast implant surgery should carry relevant documentation to prove that they have implants. This can include a letter from their healthcare provider or surgeon, detailing the type of implants used and any additional information that may be required.

It is advisable to keep this documentation easily accessible in case it is needed during the screening process.

Furthermore, it is important for airline staff to communicate openly and honestly with the security personnel about their breast implants. Providing clear and concise information about the implants can help facilitate the screening process and minimize any potential delays or misunderstandings.

3. Privacy and Sensitivity

Airport security personnel are trained to handle sensitive situations with utmost professionalism and respect for individual privacy. If you feel uncomfortable or have concerns about the screening process due to your breast implants, do not hesitate to communicate your concerns to the security personnel.

They will make every effort to address your concerns while ensuring the safety and security of all passengers.

It is worth noting that airport security procedures can vary from country to country. Therefore, it is always a good idea for airline staff with breast implants to familiarize themselves with the specific regulations and requirements of the airports they will be traveling through.

This can help ensure a smooth and hassle-free screening process.

For more information on breast implants and airport security regulations, you can visit the following websites:

Breast Reconstruction and Airport Security

For women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery, concerns about how their implants may be detected by airport scanners are common. The good news is that breast implants, whether they are silicone or saline, generally do not set off airport scanners or metal detectors.

Types of Breast Implants

There are two main types of breast implants used in breast reconstruction: silicone and saline. Silicone implants are filled with a cohesive gel that closely resembles the feel of natural breast tissue. Saline implants, on the other hand, are filled with a sterile saltwater solution.

How Airport Scanners Work

Airport scanners, such as metal detectors or full-body scanners, are designed to detect metallic objects. They use a variety of technologies, including electromagnetic waves and millimeter-wave imaging, to create images of the body and identify any hidden objects.

However, breast implants, whether silicone or saline, do not contain metal and therefore do not trigger the scanners.

Fun Fact: Did you know that breast implants were first used for reconstructive purposes in the 1960s?

Security Checkpoints

When going through airport security, it is important to inform the security personnel about your breast implants before going through the scanners. This will help avoid any misunderstandings or unnecessary delays.

Although breast implants are unlikely to cause any issues at security checkpoints, it is always better to be upfront about any medical devices or implants you may have.

Tip: If you have any concerns or questions about traveling with breast implants, it is advisable to check with your plastic surgeon or speak to the airport security staff for guidance.


We hope this guide has provided comprehensive information on what to expect when going through airport security with breast implants. While for the most part implants should not cause issues, being informed and prepared for the process can give valuable peace of mind.

The key takeaways are: saline and silicone implants generally won’t trigger alarms, unlike some alternative options with metal; notify TSA agents beforehand anyway; carry documentation about your implants; and know your screening rights. Understanding regulations for airline staff is also important.

With the right information and strategies, your implants should not get in the way of smooth and dignified travels. Next time you fly, you can feel confident about navigating security checkpoints.

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