Will A Hot Tub Injure My Breast Implants?
Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a breast augmentation three weeks ago. I am no longer worried about any particular problems at this point as they look great. What I wonder is if the heat from a hot tub can weaken the implants in any way or cause them to prematurely break down and leach out the silicone material.? Could it weaken them in any way? I have read that it is ok to swim after they are healed but can’t find anything about what happens if they are immersed in temperatures above body level like 104 or 105 degrees. How heat resistant are these materials?
A: The answer to your question comes from the Periodic Table of Elements. Breast implants are composed primarily of silicon-based materials. Silicon is a metalloid element (#14, atomic weight 28) that is very stable and non-reactive. (it is actually less reactive than carbon) When combined with oxygen, a wide variety of polymers are created which are used to create elastomers (rubber-like materials) which make up breast implant shells and the internal gel. They are very resistant to degradation including a high heat resistance and are structurally stable from temperatures ranging from -55 degrees to 300 degrees F. Thus a hot tub poses or even a sauna that reaches air temperatures of 150 degrees F or higher poses no risk of causing any implant-related issues. This is not to mention that they are also protected by your body tissues which would suffer a burn injury far sooner than your breast implants ever would.
Dr. Barry Eppley