13 doctors weighed in:

Do breast implants expand then shrink when you get on an airplane?

13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alex Lechtman
Surgery - Plastics
2 doctors agree

In brief: No, but...

Implants, whether saline or gel don't expand with change in altitude.
However, newly placed saline implants all have a small amount of air. This air can expand and contract with flying. Unpublished data from my training suggests 30 days are needed for the air to dissolve away. General recommendations after saline implants is to wait one month before flying.

In brief: No, but...

Implants, whether saline or gel don't expand with change in altitude.
However, newly placed saline implants all have a small amount of air. This air can expand and contract with flying. Unpublished data from my training suggests 30 days are needed for the air to dissolve away. General recommendations after saline implants is to wait one month before flying.
Dr. Alex Lechtman
Dr. Alex Lechtman
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Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes. Air=3X volume

To some degree just like the air expands in your ear when ascending, any air, particularly in newly placed breast implants will expand up to 3 times the volume of air present, this is commonly reported by flight attendants who have undergone the surgery.

In brief: Yes. Air=3X volume

To some degree just like the air expands in your ear when ascending, any air, particularly in newly placed breast implants will expand up to 3 times the volume of air present, this is commonly reported by flight attendants who have undergone the surgery.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
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4 comments
Dr. Otto Placik
If you have doubts, read this link: http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Citation/1990/07000/Breast_Implants_and_Air_Flight.58.aspx
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Interesting. I never knew that. Learn something new everyday on healthtap.
Dr. Matthew Schulman
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Possibly

There may be some slight changes with saline implants during flying.
This is anecdotal and based on my experience in my frequent flier patients. http://www.drschulmanplasticsurgery.com/breast/breast-augmentation/.

In brief: Possibly

There may be some slight changes with saline implants during flying.
This is anecdotal and based on my experience in my frequent flier patients. http://www.drschulmanplasticsurgery.com/breast/breast-augmentation/.
Dr. Matthew Schulman
Dr. Matthew Schulman
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Dr. Robert Schnarrs
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Breast implants

I have had some patients that have saline that have noticed when they fly, most likely from the altitude.
Gels are heavier most likely not.

In brief: Breast implants

I have had some patients that have saline that have noticed when they fly, most likely from the altitude.
Gels are heavier most likely not.
Dr. Robert Schnarrs
Dr. Robert Schnarrs
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Dr. Hashim Alani
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Expanding implants

That is something i haven't heard about before.

In brief: Expanding implants

That is something i haven't heard about before.
Dr. Hashim Alani
Dr. Hashim Alani
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2 comments
Dr. Otto Placik
Read this link: http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Citation/1990/07000/Breast_Implants_and_Air_Flight.58.aspx
Dr. Robert Schnarrs
Do not agree
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology

In brief: Trivial amount

The pressure differential might cause an insignificant change because the implants are fluid surrounded by fluid tissue.
But you will probably not notice the difference.

In brief: Trivial amount

The pressure differential might cause an insignificant change because the implants are fluid surrounded by fluid tissue.
But you will probably not notice the difference.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Dr. Richard Bensinger
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Dr. Daniel Careaga
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: No

Fluids do not expand / contract to the degree that gases do.
On the TLC program mythbusters they simulated huge changes in atmospheric pressure and there was no change in implant size.

In brief: No

Fluids do not expand / contract to the degree that gases do.
On the TLC program mythbusters they simulated huge changes in atmospheric pressure and there was no change in implant size.
Dr. Daniel Careaga
Dr. Daniel Careaga
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Dr. Jack Tubbs
Obstetrics & Gynecology

In brief: Disagree

Breast implants are fluid filled or semisolid and do not expand or contract associated with atmospheric change.

In brief: Disagree

Breast implants are fluid filled or semisolid and do not expand or contract associated with atmospheric change.
Dr. Jack Tubbs
Dr. Jack Tubbs
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2 comments
Dr. Otto Placik
This is true for saline filled implants so please read the following link and there are many more: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199408183310720
Dr. Otto Placik
And this link which I read many years ago: http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Citation/1990/07000/Breast_Implants_and_Air_Flight.58.aspx
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