Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic surgery that involves placing implants to increase the size and improve the shape of the breasts. While breast augmentation can provide various benefits for women, such as improving self-confidence and body image, it’s important to consider the potential impact of breast implants on athletic performance.
Many women participating in athletic activities may be concerned that breast implants could hinder their performance or cause discomfort during exercise. The negative impact can vary depending on several factors, such as:
- The size and type of implants used
- The surgical technique
- The patient’s anatomy
However, research has shown that breast implants can also positively affect athletic performance. In this blog post, we’ll provide tips for women considering augmentation who want to maintain an active lifestyle after surgery. If, after reading, you are interested in learning more, we have complimentary consultation appointments available with Dr. Saira H. Saini, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Fayetteville and Raleigh, NC. Contact Carolina Plastic Surgery of Fayetteville, NC, today by calling (910) 323-1234 or completing our contact form to get started.
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- 1 Before and After Photos
- 2 How Can Breast Implants Boost Athletic Performance?
- 3 Tips For the Athlete Considering Breast Implants
- 4 The Best Implant Placement for Athletic Patients
- 5 Silicone or Saline?
- 6 Schedule Your Consultation
- 7 References
Before and After Photos
How Can Breast Implants Boost Athletic Performance?
Being an athlete doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the most popular cosmetic procedure in America: breast augmentation.  Many female athletes undergo breast augmentation to improve their body image and self-confidence. While breast implants can potentially affect athletic performance, some steps can be taken to minimize these effects and ensure women can enjoy an active lifestyle after surgery.
Ultimately, the decision to undergo breast augmentation is personal and should be made after carefully considering the potential benefits and risks. By working with a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Saini and taking the necessary precautions, female athletes can achieve their aesthetic goals without sacrificing their athletic abilities.
Muscular women may choose to get breast implants for a variety of reasons:
- While muscular women often have a leaner body composition and lower body fat percentage, this can also result in smaller breasts that may not provide the desired aesthetic appearance.
- Breast implants can help muscular women achieve a more proportionate figure.
- Breast implants can improve body image and self-confidence.
- Breast implants can provide a more feminine appearance that can complement a muscular physique.
It’s important for women to carefully consider their reasons for wanting breast implants and work with a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Saini to determine the best size, type, and placement of implants for their goals and anatomy.
What are the Benefits of Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation has become an increasingly popular procedure among athletic women, and studies have shown that these patients have a high satisfaction rate with the surgery results. Many of these women report maintaining or even improving the strength of their pectoral region regardless of the augmentation plane used. 
One of the primary concerns for athletic women undergoing breast augmentation is how the procedure will affect their physical performance. Specifically, many women worry that the addition of implants will weaken their chest muscles, which could compromise their ability to perform exercises and activities that require upper body strength. However, research has found that this is generally not the case.
Breast Augmentation and Bodybuilding
For professional bodybuilders, breast augmentation can offer specific benefits that may enhance their competitive performance. Bodybuilding competitions often prioritize a muscular and symmetrical physique; breast implants can help achieve this ideal aesthetic.
Additionally, breast implants can provide a more feminine appearance, which can be advantageous for women competing in bodybuilding categories that value a more traditionally feminine look.
The improved balance can also benefit bodybuilders during posing routines, allowing them to showcase their muscular development with greater confidence and ease. However, it’s important for bodybuilders considering breast augmentation to work with a plastic surgeon like Dr. Saini, who understands their unique needs.
Tips For the Athlete Considering Breast Implants
If you’re an athlete considering breast augmentation, it’s important to ensure that your implants don’t hinder your athletic performance. Here are some tips to help you maintain your active lifestyle after surgery:
Choose the Right Size and Type of Implant
Work closely with Dr. Saini to choose implants appropriate for your body type and activity level. Smaller implants may be more suitable for women who run or row, as they are less likely to cause discomfort or affect the range of motion.
Give Yourself Time to Heal
Allowing your body sufficient time to heal after breast augmentation before returning to athletic activities is important. Follow Dr. Saini’s instructions for postoperative care and avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting until you fully recover.
Invest in Supportive Sports Bras
Investing in high-quality sports bras can help reduce discomfort and provide additional support for the breasts during exercise. Look for sports bras specifically designed for women with breast implants, as these can provide additional padding and support.
Modify Your Workouts as Needed
If you experience discomfort or limitations in range of motion after breast augmentation, consider modifying your workouts to avoid activities that exacerbate these issues. Focus on exercises that are less likely to cause strain on the upper body, such as lower-body strength training or low-impact cardio.
The Best Implant Placement for Athletic Patients
The placement of breast implants for athletic individuals can depend on various factors, including the individual’s body type, exercise habits, and aesthetic goals. However, there are two widely-used placement options for breast implants – subglandular and submuscular – and one less common option called the subfascial.
Subglandular placement involves placing the breast implants above the chest muscles and under the breast tissue. This placement can be suitable for athletic individuals who have a good amount of breast tissue and minimal body fat. Subglandular placement can provide more upper pole fullness and suit those wanting more noticeable cleavage.
On the other hand, submuscular placement involves placing the breast implants under the chest muscles. This placement suits athletic individuals with little breast tissue and low body fat. It can provide more natural-looking results and help prevent implant rippling or visibility. Submuscular placement can also be suitable for those who frequently engage in activities that involve chest muscles, such as weightlifting, as it can provide additional support to the implants.
Subfascial breast implant placement is a less common breast augmentation technique involving placing the implant under the fascia, a layer of connective tissue that covers the chest muscles. This placement is between the subglandular and submuscular placement options. Subfascial placement can provide more natural-looking results than subglandular placement, as it provides an additional layer of tissue over the implant and helps to prevent implant visibility and rippling.
Capsular contracture is a potential complication of breast augmentation in which scar tissue forms around the implant, causing it to harden and distort the breast’s appearance. Subfascial placement has been shown to have a lower risk of capsular contracture (about 1%) than subglandular placement.  However, recovery time for subfascial placement may be longer than for subglandular placement, as the fascia can take longer to heal and may require additional time for the implant to settle into its final position.
Silicone or Saline?
When it comes to breast augmentation, silicone, and saline implants are the two primary options available. Both types of implants have benefits and drawbacks for athletic individuals, and it’s essential to understand these differences to make an informed decision.
The Benefits of Silicone Implants
- Silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue and provide a more natural-looking result.
- Silicone implants have a lower risk of rippling or wrinkling, making them a good choice for women with minimal breast tissue.
- Silicone implants are less likely to rupture or leak; if they do, the gel stays within the implant shell.
The Drawbacks of Silicone Implants
- Silicone implants require a larger incision than saline implants, which can result in a more significant scar.
- While silicone implants are less likely to rupture, detecting a rupture can be more challenging, leading to a delayed prognosis.
- Patients may need help budgeting for silicone implants as they can be more expensive than saline.
The Benefits of Saline Implants
- Saline implants can be filled with varying amounts of saline, allowing for more flexibility in adjusting the size and shape of the breasts.
- If a saline implant ruptures, it is usually noticeable immediately, as the saline leaks out and is safely absorbed by the body.
- Saline implants can be inserted through a smaller incision than silicone implants, resulting in a smaller scar.
The Drawbacks of Saline Implants
- Saline implants can feel firmer than silicone implants and may not provide as natural-looking results.
- Saline implants have a higher risk of rippling or wrinkling, making them less ideal for women without enough breast tissue to mask the effect.
- Saline implants are more prone to rupturing or leaking than silicone implants, although modern implant designs have reduced this risk.
Choosing between silicone and saline implants will ultimately depend on individual patient factors and preferences. It is essential to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each option with a qualified plastic surgeon during the consultation process to determine which implant type is best for you.
Schedule Your Consultation
During your consultation with Dr. Saini, she will evaluate your physical characteristics and discuss your goals and concerns related to breast augmentation. She will ask about your exercise routine and level of physical activity to determine which placement option would be best for you. She will also discuss incision options, recovery time, and potential complications, so you are fully informed and empowered in your decision.
It is important to ask any questions you may have during the consultation to ensure you clearly understand the procedure and what to expect. Ask about any post-operative care instructions or limitations on physical activity.
We look forward to meeting you!
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2018) Plastic Surgery Statistics Report [Internet]. American Society of Plastic Surgeons; 2018. Available from: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2018/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2018.pdf
- Jurat D, Wenzel D. Breast Augmentation in Athletic Women: A Retrospective Survey Assessing Pectoral Muscle Function and Implant Aesthetics Post-Augmentation. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Published online January 24, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-021-02692-8
- Gould DJ, Shauly O, Ohanissian L, Stevens WG. Subfascial Breast Augmentation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Capsular Contracture. Aesthetic Surgery Journal Open Forum. 2020;2(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/asjof/ojaa006