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According to data, almost 9 per 1000 women have reported having some sort of breast enhancement. Most of them had this procedure done for cosmetic reasons, while others had it for a medical necessity, like breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
People with breasts get implants to enhance their looks and feel better about themselves, so they naturally want to return to their old selves and engage in whatever activities they practiced before the surgery.
So, can you scuba dive with breast implants? What is the maximum safe depth for a person with implants? And how should you get ready for your dive if you have your breasts enhanced?
We’re here to answer all these questions, so keep reading to learn more about this topic.
Can You Scuba Dive With Breast Implants?
People who have breasts can choose to have implants for several reasons. Yet, there might be a stigma about this topic, especially in athletic settings like scuba diving communities.
But there’s nothing to be ashamed about having your breasts augmented, regardless of the reason. And the good news is that you can safely scuba dive with breast implants.
Breast implants are safe to go underwater up to 100 feet deep, which is equal to four atmospheres of pressure. However, some minor changes can occur.
Depending on your dive’s depth and duration, a bubble can form in your breast implants. This doesn’t necessarily happen every time you dive. And when it does, it’s not hazardous.
In some cases, gas bubbles that represent 1% to 4% of the total size of implants form due to the change in pressure. These bubbles resolve over time and don’t affect the lifespan of the implants or their safety.
The bubbles are usually too small to affect your implants or the breast tissue surrounding them, so you’re perfectly safe. Bubbles are more common in silicone gel implants than saline-filled implants. Nevertheless, in all cases, the implants will stay intact and safe.
What Should You Ask Your Doctor Before Going On a Dive?
It’s important to discuss your lifestyle with your surgeon before getting breast implants or any other cosmetic procedures. For example, the doctor needs to know if you’re a scuba diver, as this might affect his or her decision regarding the placement of the implant, the incisions, the healing period, and possible inflammation.
After your surgery, some doctors recommend that you wait for three months, while others suggest that you wait for six months before you can resume scuba diving. It’s best to discuss this with your doctor and also ask any questions regarding your surgery and scuba diving hobby.
There’s a minor concern that your breast implants might not tolerate high depths if they’re pretty old. This is because old-style implants were silicone bags that were filled with fluid, and these were prone to leakage under extreme pressure.
If you have one of those, it might be a good idea to have them replaced with new implants that are safer. You should also consult your doctor and ask how deep you can dive with these old implants to avoid rupturing.
Things to Consider If You Scuba Dive With Breast Implants
Scuba diving is a fun and mesmerizing experience that contributes to your emotional and mental well-being. As a matter of fact, after a breast reconstruction surgery, if you have a tumor removed, it can accelerate your healing journey.
Healing after surgery can take a toll on your well-being, so enjoying the amazing underwater views can help you feel better. However, there are a few things to consider before you go on your next scuba diving adventure.
Remember Your Size
Remember that after getting your breasts enhanced, your older scuba diving gear might not suit you. The scuba diving wetsuit should fit snugly but not to the point of restricting your motion.
Although you might feel that you can still fit into your old thermals and wetsuit, wearing something too tight, especially in the first year after your surgery, isn’t recommended.
If your garments feel too tight, you won’t feel comfortable as you get into the water, and you’ll face difficulty putting them on and taking them off. So, you should try a different size to make sure that your clothes fit right before going on a dive.
Even if you previously didn’t need to wear gear specifically designed for women, after getting your breast implants, you’d feel that it’s a must. You should also invest in adjustable shoulder straps and move them until they feel incredibly comfortable.
Adjusting the size of your buoyancy control device is also necessary, as you must ensure that it doesn’t press into your skin or cut into your side boobs. If you dive using a harness, you might need to adjust it so it doesn’t cut into the area between your armpits and breasts.
Get More Support
If you’ve ever gone scuba diving without bra support or wearing only a small bikini bra, you’ll have to find another option. The extra weight on your chest needs additional support, so you can dive comfortably and move underwater without any issues.
As your body changes after surgery, it’s essential to reconsider the type of support you use during your dives. In most cases, your surgical bra will provide the best support while you’re outside and inside the water. It provides the needed support and keeps you comfortable, especially right after your surgery.
If wearing this bra doesn’t work for you, you can try zip front or button front sports bras. You might have to try several options until you find the most appropriate one.
Effect on Trim and Buoyancy
Depending on the size and shape of your implants, they can add significant weight to your upper body. Breast implants won’t increase your buoyancy, but they’ll actually negatively impact it. As a result, they’ll change your orientation or trim, so you might have to adjust your diving technique.
Saline implants won’t have an effect on your trim in saltwater, but they’ll be negatively buoyant in freshwater. Yet, they’ll have a minimal effect on your buoyancy.
Silicone implants, which are more common, are negatively buoyant in both freshwater and saltwater, regardless of their texture.
You can ask your doctor about the weight and size of your implants and try to put that extra weight on your chest before you go on a dive. This will help you determine how much they’ll affect your trim.
Try putting some fishing weights in a sports bra or ask your surgeon to give you sample implants to try them on. In the beginning, you might feel like a new diver, but you’ll soon be able to adjust your trim.
Remember that with the implants, the tissue in your breast changes. In addition, the excessive scarring can extend the time the nitrogen gas needs to leave your body.
This excessive nitrogen can lead to what we know as the bends in your chest. It can be quite painful, so you need to discuss this with your doctor.
This excessive scarring can also affect the speed by which the gas enters the tissue. So, take your time and relax. Your body needs time to adjust after the surgery.
You might notice that you’re getting too cold after diving, especially if you’ve had most or all of your breast tissue removed before getting an implant. This happens because, unlike normal breast tissue, breast implants don’t have any blood vessels, so they won’t warm up after you get out of the water.
It’s pretty common to feel a little cold after going for a dive, but your body naturally warms up. In the case of implants, your breasts tend to feel colder because there’s a small layer of tissue between the implants and the water. But don’t worry, as your implants won’t freeze or explode.
This coldness can be highly uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Yet, it’s easy to fix.
First, make sure that you wear enough layers before getting into the water. This will help you warm up quickly when your dive is done.
You can also check with your surgeon if it’s OK to use some hand warmers and insert them into your bra. You can also try a heated vest if you feel extremely cold.
Take it Slow
This is probably the most important thing to consider. Always give yourself more time than you think you should before getting into the water.
After your doctor clears you for scuba diving, you might need to wait until you feel perfectly fine with the idea. You might need to practice your diving skills in a pool with easy entry and exit points before you head to the open water.
You can scuba dive with breast implants, as they’re perfectly safe and won’t explode under pressure. Some minor bubbles might form, but these won’t affect the implants’ safety or durability.
Several doctors advise waiting for three months before scuba diving, while others recommend waiting for six months for maximum safety. Before you attempt your first dive after having your implants inserted, you should reconsider your gear, adjust your trim, and ensure you’re comfortable and warm.