Medical Questions

Breast implant and diving

I have to teach an OWD course to a student who has silicone breast implants. I would like to know if there are any contraindications to diving due to depth (pressure) and to nitrogen being absorbed by the silicone.

Answer from DAN experts: 

There is not a lot of information on the durability of silicone implants when diving. What is known basically refers to breast implants, and generally states that they are safe and reliable. The specific precautions to be taken are generic and mechanical. The – actual and common – possibility that inert gas bubbles could form inside the implants, does not appear of considerable importance, since this phenomenon would remain limited to the inside of the implant, and therefore without causing any damage. This applies both to implants made only of silicone, and to saline implants. There is no information of statistic or scientific interest regarding soft tissue fillers, or injectable implants, even if theoretically, there could be the risk of a localized production of bubbles at a different rate from surrounding tissues. However, considering that the filler is injected into the tissue and is free to move in the surrounding areas, it is possible that a gas exchange will take place, but with a non significant risk of damage.

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