Summary: Once you’ve had a breast augmentation performed, there are a lot of new things to get used to: the way clothes fit, the way you look in the mirror, the way your co-workers look at you when they think you don’t notice. And then, there’s getting used to the changing seasons. Some women do report a little bit of discomfort as winter approaches, but there’s little evidence to suggest that silicone, saline, or fat graft implants somehow rupture because of the cold. In fact, all in all, breast implants are fantastically safe medical devices.
The Reach of Winter
The days grow short, the nights extend their reach, and the temperatures plummet. There simply is no escaping the grip of winter. It seems to approach more suddenly every year: just as you were getting used to leafy green trees and sweltering summer temperatures, that brisk wind whips up and the branches are suddenly bare. We scurry for down comforters and cozy fireplaces because there’s a real power in the cold: it cracks pavement and breaks sidewalks, ruptures pipes and turns great lakes to ice.
So what does it do to your breast implant? It’s a reasonable question to ask, especially as winter approaches and especially if this is your first season or two with your newly expanded breasts and you received your breast augmentation in Minneapolis. Part of the reason we ask this question is that we tend to think of breast implants as liquid objects—and liquid has that irritating tendency to freeze in low temperatures. It’s frightening, then, to imagine two giant ice cubes where those natural-looking breast implants should be.
A Cozy Home
Luckily, those implants are housed in a human body where the average temperature hovers around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, far higher than freezing temperature. The other factor working against any kind of freezing is the material of the implant itself. In most cases, plastic surgeons prefer to use silicone breast implants, due to their excellent safety record, natural look and feel, and robust longevity. Yes, sometimes a saline implant or even a fat injection implant will be the best bet, but most often silicone provides the best results.
Silicone also holds up the best to the elements. That said, there have been some reports of slight pain and discomfort in the breast during especially cold weather. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the fault is in the implant itself—rather, it’s likely to be caused by the implant interacting with the tissues around it. But it is certainly something to keep an eye on. That said, there are no known reports of cold weather causing a rupture or tear in a breast implant. You can feel safe and secure, then, when winter comes knocking.
Got Your Breast Augmentation in Minneapolis? Maybe You Should Get Away From it All
Of course, sometimes the cold weather may just want to make us get away for a while (or, you know, until spring). We can hardly blame someone for getting a breast augmentation in Minneapolis, but then wintering in Florida. As this usually includes a little ride in an airplane, it’s worth talking about another myth that involves weather and breast implants—in this case, air pressure. The myth, long since debunked, is that the lower air pressure experienced while flying can cause a breast implant to explode. It’s not true, of course (they even tested it on the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters).
That said, there have certainly been reports of discomfort in the breasts while flying on an airplane, and many of those reports have come from women who have had breast implants—and implants of all type: saline, silicone, tissue, and so on. This discomfort usually comes in the form of a simple, odd sensation in the chest while flying. In most cases, the odd sensation dissipates after a normal atmospheric pressure is reached. Because this feeling was often fleeting—and was in no way connected to the breast implant itself—there was something of a mystery as to why it was happening.
The Space Between
Recently, though, a case in Denver seems to have solved the case, as it were. A woman reported the odd sensation, and, due to Denver’s high altitude above sea-level, the sensation did not go away. A CT scan revealed that there was a pocket of gas trapped between the implant and the muscular pocket in which implants generally rest. In most cases, these gases are simply absorbed back into the blood stream once pressure equalizes, and it was only because of rare elevation variances that absorption did not happen in this case.
A Safe Procedure in Any Weather
The bottom line is that breast implants are among the safest medical devices in the world, and in general, they have an excellent track record in all environments and situations. Complications are exceptionally rare—and that goes for weather-induced complications as well. In general, altitude does not cause a breast implant to expand, and cold temperatures will likewise generally not cause an implant to contract.
Of course, you’ll definitely want to talk to your plastic surgeon about the safety and risks involved in any decision, and quickly report any pain or discomfort to your plastic surgeon. Silicone breast implant ruptures are exceptionally rare, but they do happen. It’s just usually caused by normal wear and tear—not because of cold weather or high altitudes.
That means you can enjoy your breast augmentation anywhere you’d like to spend the rest of your life. We recommend some place warm, but only because we know what Minnesota is like in the winter. And winter is coming.