Breast Implants for the Athlete: 5 Key Considerations
A sculpted, lean physique is the hallmark of an elite athlete, and something all couch potatoes aspire to. Add to that the health benefits of fitness, such as a healthy heart, clear complexion, and increased energy, and it sounds like a winning combination. The problem? We still haven’t figured out a way to choose where we lose body fat, and sometimes those feminine curves just melt away.
At the end of the day, even a marathon runner or powerlifter might want to put on high heels and head out for a night on the town, but it sure would be nice to have a décolletage to go with that little black dress. Perhaps you’ve considered a breast augmentation, but didn’t follow through because you were concerned about a lengthy recovery and the time away from training or competition.
The good news is that, with careful planning and the right surgeon, you don’t have to give up your curves or your calisthenics. In this post, we’ll explore some of the breast augmentation considerations that are unique to athletes so that you can weigh the pros and cons before making the decision that’s right for you.
Think Enhancement, Not Enlargement
Enhancing your bust can go a long way toward improving your self-confidence, but this is definitely not one of those “go big or go home” situations. Subtle changes can make a big difference without overwhelming your trim figure, so be sure to look at before and after photos of athletes with similar body types to yours to get a better idea of the end result.
If you’ve ever experienced one of those training days where your balance is off, this one’s for you. Breast implants can and will affect the mechanics of your movements once you’re back in the game, so take into consideration the specific motions that are key to your sport. A modest implant shouldn’t have a significant or long-term effect on performance.
Talk with your surgeon about your expectations so that he or she can properly size the implants, and don’t be surprised if you feel a little strange in the early months. You’ll find your new center of gravity and be at the top of your game in no time.
Implants can be placed either behind the breast glands or behind the chest muscle (pectoralis major), and each has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, smaller, leaner athletes often opt for submuscular implants because the muscle helps mask some of the telltale signs of implants; others prefer subglandular placement for a perkier appearance and to minimize movement. The placement of your implants will be determined in part by personal preference, but your lifestyle and anatomy are significant considerations as well.
After the Surgery
Before you go shopping for new sports bras, be sure to speak with your doctor concerning recovery. Modern surgical techniques have significantly cut back on downtime, but the end result (and your overall health!) depend on proper healing. Expect five to seven days of bed rest, after which you can graduate to light walking for a month or so. You’ll want to avoid chest workouts altogether for at least a couple of months, and be sure to consult your surgeon before returning to your normal training routine.