When you decide to improve your looks with breast augmentation, you will prepare a long list of questions for your surgeon. But after the actual operation and recovery, there are lots of other things that won’t occur until you come across the situation, so we’ve tried to answer them here for you.
Breast implants will retain a hot or cold touch from the surrounding temperature and will only gradually change between the two to match the new external environment. This means that if you spend a long time being either hot or cold, your breast implants will take on that temperature and retain it for quite a while after you return to a normal body temperature.
For example, if you ski for an hour or two in icy conditions, your breast implants will drop to below body temperature and feel cool to the touch to match the surroundings. They will then stay cool for a while, only gradually warming up long after you feel warm. Conversely, if you spend a long time in the sun, or have repeat visits to a sauna, your breast implants will heat up and retain that heat for some time after you have showered and cooled down.
The one note of caution: never place a localised source of high heat directly onto breasts with implants, or you can risk burning your skin. If you hug a hot water bottle or heating pad to your chest, the implant will gradually warm up, and when it does, your breast skin will receive heat from both the internal and external source. It is rare, but this can burn the skin in between.
Yes, you can scuba dive with breast implants, but be aware of the effects of prolonged submersion in cold water, as your breast implants will retain the cool temperature for some time after you have warmed up.
Yes, it is safe to use a sauna, jacuzzi, hot tub, steam room or tanning booth with breast implants, within the normal safety recommendations for these sources of heat, but be aware of the effects of prolonged exposure to heat, as your breast implants will retain the temperature for some time after you have showered and cooled down.
It is an urban myth that flying with breast implants can cause them to rupture or burst; it does not pose any additional risk to an implant splitting.
Once you have had your post-operative check up and have been cleared to resume normal activities, having breast implants should not prevent you from doing any exercise. This includes all manner of vigorous or extreme sports such as sky-diving, skiing, riding, wrestling and running, to name but a few. The implant is no more likely to burst through these activities than any other, but be aware that the outer coating wears down over time and so might become more likely to burst, for any reason, as they get older.
Most surgeons estimate that a set of implants will last 10 years, but in fact this is variable and can be as long as 20 years. The main point to note is that it is not necessary to routinely replace functioning implants just because they have reached a certain lifespan. However, implants are not lifetime devices and you will need to replace them if you experience a leak, rupture, migration or unevenness. Recovery from straight replacement surgery is usually much easier and faster than the initial implant, and often the same scar line can be reused.
The implants themselves do not harden, it is the scar tissue naturally forming a capsule around the foreign object in the body that can become hard and uncomfortable. If you notice a slight hardening shortly after surgery, you can try to release it with breast massage, but if the scar tissue thickens, tightens or hardens so that is it painful and distorts the look of your breast, you may require further surgery.
As we age, our skin loses elasticity and our breast skin is no different, so it will start to sag over time; the force of gravity also stretches the skin; and we usually lose breast tissue over the years, which sees the breast relax further. The weight of implants will increase the rate of sag from gravity, but the scar tissue that forms around the implant will hold the breast a little firmer for a while. Breasts with implants tend to relax less quickly than someone with the same sized breasts naturally, but faster than you would have experienced with your original smaller breasts.
Your breasts will gain and lose weight as they normally would have prior to augmentation, i.e. if you previously noticed they were the first or last place to show a weight change, this is likely to still be true. The implants will not change size, therefore if you gain weight, they will look proportionately smaller on your body, and if you lose weight, they will look proportionately bigger.
It is advisable to wait until you have weaned your last child before you opt for breast implants, as pregnancy and breastfeeding will change the shape of your breasts anyway. If you had an implant first, your ability to breastfeed mostly depends on the type of surgery you had. If the incision was made under the fold of the breast, or via the armpit, then it should still be possible; the problem with breastfeeding usually occurs when the incision has been made around the areola. If you have good feeling in your nipple still, the chances are you will be able to breastfeed, however you won’t know for sure either way until you first try to nurse. Make sure you tell your doctor about your surgery, so that she can advise you on techniques and monitor your baby’s weight progress closely.
The information provided on this site is not meant to substitute for the advice of a qualified medical professional. Letstalkbreasts.co.uk neither assumes any legal liability nor makes any warranty or guarantee, either expressed or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or currency of this information. It is the responsibility of the reader to check for updates to the information contained on this site.