Scuba Diving and Breast Implants

What's the lowdown on scuba diving and breast implants? Women who have implants, whether silicone or saline, often ask "Can I safely scuba dive with implants?"


Happily, the short and sweet answer is "yes - you can dive with breast implants." Of course, this is after you have recovered from the surgery and have gotten the go-ahead from your doctor.

While there has not been alot of scientific research on the subject, one study was done in a hyperbaric chamber at Duke University. Silicone, saline and silicone/saline implants were placed in the chamber and subjected to various depth and duration profiles.

The result was that there was a 1-4% increase in bubble size which is considered to be insignificant. The saline implants absorbed less nitrogen than the silicone since nitrogen is more soluble in silicone than in saline.

Any gas bubbles which formed in the implants did not lead to any rupture and eventually dissipated over time. The study did not include any implants which were actually in a person.

Buoyancy and Other Considerations

One thing you will have to account for when scuba diving with breast implants is the issue of buoyancy. If you have saline implants, they are neutrally buoyant so it won't affect your weighting when you dive.

However, silicone implants are heavier than water so they will affect your buoyancy when you dive. The bigger they are, the more your buoyancy will be affected. Given this, you might want to do a checkout dive when you first return to the water so you can find the required amount of weight for your new figure.

You will also want to check out your wetsuit and BC to make sure they will still fit properly without putting alot of pressure on your chest.

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