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Breast Implants for the Athlete: 5 Key Considerations

If you’re an athlete, the hard work you put into your routine—whether it’s running, lifting, or something like CrossFit—will eliminate your body fat and leave you with a sculpted, leaner physique. This is typically a good thing. The reduced body fat percentage of most athletes has many benefits for heart health, physical appearance, and confidence. If you’re a female athlete, however, you might find that your genetics and hard work cause body fat to melt away from areas associated with femininity and natural beauty.  

At AW Plastic Surgery, we conduct many breast augmentation consultations at our Portsmouth, NH plastic surgery practice for athletic women who are self-conscious about the shape, volume, or overall appearance of their breasts. Many athletes, especially those who compete, have questions about how long the recovery from a breast augmentation will take them out of training. We’ve found that there isn’t much good information out there about special considerations athletes should have when it comes to some of the finer details of a breast augmentation. 

In this post, we’ll share five key considerations we typically help our athletic patients think through before they get breast augmentation surgery.

A Breast Enhancement Should Complement, Not Overshadow

Most of our athletic patients prefer to be recognized for their muscle mass and tone, not necessarily their dominating curves. You want to feel sexier and more confident by enhancing your bust, but you probably don’t want it to overshadow the rest of the work you’ve put into sculpting your body. 

Ask your plastic surgeon to show you before and after examples of athletes who have similar bodies to you so you can get a sense of how larger or smaller implants may look on a specific type of athletic frame.

Implant Size Can Also Have an Effect on Movement Mechanics

Most athletes who have had a breast enhancement surgery will experience some initial changes to the mechanics of their movements when they get back to training. Your swing, stride, or shuffle may feel a little odd in the early months as you get back to your routine. 

You want your breast implants to properly fit the width of your chest to reduce this effect. A skilled plastic surgeon can help you make this sizing choice, which will not only help reduce the time it takes to get to your next PR, but it will also reduce the appearance of too much of your breast showing from the side (also known as “side boob”).

Silicone or Saline?

You will be able to choose between silicone or saline breast implants if you’re an athlete interested in a breast augmentation. At our practice, we tend to notice that athletic women like the softer feel and look of silicone implants because they create more naturally shaped breasts. We recommend you ask your plastic surgeon to give you a rundown of the pros and cons of silicone versus saline for your body’s natural contours and frame.

Subglandular or Submuscular Implants?

You can have breast implants placed behind the breast glands, or you can have them placed behind your pectoralis major—your chest muscles. Where your implants are placed are usually determined by your lifestyle, anatomy, and some of your individual preferences. 

Many athletic women choose to have submuscular implants because the chest muscles can help mask some of the characteristics of breast implants for smaller, leaner women. In some cases, subglandular implants may be a better option to help make breasts appear perkier and to avoid “implant animation,” which is when implants move noticeably with your chest muscles and arms.

Listen to Your Doctor’s Recovery Recommendations

If you’re an athlete, we know you like to test your body. However, recovering from a surgery is not the time to do so. If you’ve had a breast augmentation, you’re going to want to spend about the first 5-7 days on bed rest allowing your body to heal. You might be able to do some light walking for the next 3-4 weeks after that. After the first month, talk to your doctor about any type of training and avoid chest workouts all together for at least a couple months.

Have Questions About Your Breast Augmentation?

Contact Dr. Anthony Wilson, our board-certified plastic surgeon, if you’re an athlete and have questions or concerns about a breast augmentation. 

Call us to schedule a consultation today. Contact AW Plastic Surgery in Portsmouth, NH at (603) 294-4526 or send a message through our website.