Normal for a Gel Breast Implants to Feel Hard in the Cold?

It's been three weeks since my memory gel breast implants. Is it normal for my breasts to still feel firm and tight when it's cold? It feels really hard when I am cold. Is that normal? When will they soften to a more natural feel? I've been massaging them to make them feel softer so they would settle in better.

Doctor Answers 6

Memory gel feels colder

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The impant does not have a blood supply and it will remain cooler than your body. In circumstances where your breast is exposed, you may appreciate the temperature difference. However, it generally does not change viscosity within a few degrees of your body temperature. This may prompt your muscle to contract and create the sensation of tightness that you feel. With time, it will soften but the temperature variation may still be appreciable.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Gel on ice

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Dear Ivory,

EVERYTHING contracts/shrinks in the cold, except water of course. Your skin, muscle and breast tissues overlying your implant may also shrink in response to cold. This phenomenon would cause an increased firmness. Also, assuming that your implants are under the muscle, your pectoral muscle may not be used to the implants and stretching they have caused. This sometimes causes muscle tightening or even spasm, which could be intensified by the cold. If this is the case, the response of the muscle to the cold should lessen over time. Also, your skin will relax and stretch over the implant over time (usually 6 months or so) and will therefore feel less tight and firm, even in response to cold exposure.

Ice and BA

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I generally don't recommend ice for breast patients as the implant is so far from the skin surface it does little good nor is it helpful after the point of maximum swelling, after the first 3 days.

Discuss this with your surgeon and follow his directions!


Hard implants in the cold

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Your sensation is normal at this early post operative timeframe. It takes several weeks to months for the tissues to soften and accomodate to the implant, especially implants below the muscle. In addition, you may be experiencing muscle spasms-which can be made worse in the cold. It is less likely that you are developing internal scar tissues, called capsulare contracture.

William Loutfy, MD
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Breast implants should not feel hard.

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With almost all of our patients in New York City, the breasts feel normal right after breast implants, which means soft. I don't really know what to suggest. Unfortunately, breasts that start out hard tend to remain hard.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Implant firmness

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Initially after surgery, breast implants can feel firm until the skin anf soft tissues around them stretch to accomodate the implants. Be patient it will happen.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.