Could High Altitude Be Causing Changes in Breast Implants Like Popping Sounds?

I have had silicone breast implants for 6 years. I have lived at sea level and at an altitude of 9000 feet and have not had any issues. I have experienced crepitus, popping sensations, and gurgling sounds at the suture lines under my breasts for 2 days when lifting my arms or moving my breasts. I drove from sea level to altitude but this is nothing new for me in the past 6 years.

Doctor Answers 2

Altitude and Breast Implant “Popping” Sounds?

Thank you for the question.

I do not think that the “sound effects” that you are experiencing are related to the breast implants or silicone material itself.  It is more likely that the noises are created by  movement/cracking of the breast implant capsule. Crepitus, at this stage, would be a very unusual ( and potentially concerning) finding;  this is usually seen immediately postoperatively caused by air tracking in the subcutaneous tissues. There is no breast implant related reason why you should have this phenomenon occurring at this time.  If there is air escaping your respiratory system and being trapped in the subcutaneous tissues,  causing the crepitus, you should be evaluated by a physician ASAP.  Chest x-ray may also be indicated.

I hope this helps.

High altitudes

Crepitus is often felt /heard initially after surgery when you go from low altitude to high altitude.  It should not occur at 6 years after surgery. This could be something else, and without an exam it is hard to say.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 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.