Frequently Asked Questions after Breast Augmentation Surgery

Here are some commonly asked questions that patients tend to have after they have had a breast enlargement procedure in regards to tanning and temperatures and how they affect breast implants.

We are commonly asked by breast augmentation patients if they can tan after surgery. The answer is “Yes”, it’s ok to tan as far as the actual implants are concerned. Tanning beds do not damage your implants, but they do damage your skin over time. The UV rays that tan beds emit are not like an X-ray. They do not go through your skin, so the light only affects your skin surface. The underlying breast tissue and implants are safe. Now, if you tan immediately after surgery, you do run the risk of the skin along your incision darkening more than the skin around it. The pigment producing cells along the incision line are in a sensitive state as a result of the surgery. They are prone to producing extra pigment as is so if you tan this can amplify the problem and leave you with a very tan incision line. This is called hyperpigmentation.
We will refrain from jumping on our anti-tanning soap box but sufficed to say that tanning beds are not great for your skin on several levels. To decrease your chance of skin cancer and to avoid prematurely aging the skin, we recommend you avoid them! After all, what is the point in trying to get a “healthy tan” to look good, if your face and other parts will look 10 to 15 years older than your real age later?!

We thought this was an appropriate topic since we are in the winter months and the daily conditions are snowing and just barely above freezing temperatures here in Pennsylvania! Breast implants, silicone or saline, do change temperature very slightly.
The implants store heat or cold, changing slowly. Rather similar to how other body parts behave, implants tend to be at a temperature somewhere between body temperature and the temperature of the surroundings, and change slowly when your surroundings change. For example, spend an hour in a pool or a cool room wearing a bikini, and your breast implants will cool below body temperature, so the breasts will feel cool to the touch, and will stay cool until they gradually warm up. Or spend an hour lying in the sun, or in a hot tub, and the implants will warm up above body temperature, and your breasts will feel warm to the touch, and will stay that way until the heat source is gone and time has passed.
The reason is that the implants sit under your skin and breast tissue but outside of your chest cavity. Most women who have implants don’t have a lot of breast tissue or they wouldn’t have implants to begin with. So the implants adjust a few degrees to the outside temperature. That’s why they feel cold. The temperature change won’t hurt the implants but some women do complain that their breasts get a bit tender when this happens.

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