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Breast Implants for Athletes – Will it affect my sport?

Question

I’m a serious track and field athlete with extremely small breasts that make me feel self-conscious in certain social situations. While I would love to pursue a breast enlargement surgery, I am really concerned that larger breasts will impede my ability to excel and improve in my track events. Can I achieve enhanced breast size and shape without compromising my athletic performance?

Women who are athletes may find that while regular exercise and training help to hone their physique, the size of their breasts may shrink. Athletic women have some special concerns regarding breast augmentation and the associated recovery, return to sport and placement of implants. In order to determine if breast augmentation is the best option for you, ensure that you discuss your training regime with me. I will be able to give you information on the length of recovery you can expect and how long you will need to avoid certain types of activities. It is vital to remember that you need rest and recovery in order for your body to properly heal from your procedure. Generally I recommend only light activity for the two weeks following breast augmentation surgery.  High impact and chest work outs can be resumed after three weeks from surgery with the very supportive bra that is provided at the time of surgery.   Regular follow ups with me, after surgery, will determine if any changes are needed in this post-operative period.   By discussing your training schedule with myself and being aware of your expected recovery timeline you can determine when the ideal time is to undergo your procedure. Women who weight train express concern regarding how implants will affect their sport. After the appropriate recovery time, there shouldn’t be any reason you cannot return to your sport. Once I give you the all clear you can resume your regular activities. You will need to ensure that you return to training gradually, and do not push your body too hard too soon. Furthermore you will need to carefully consider the size of implants that you choose and ensure that they are appropriately sized and do not hinder your ability to perform your sport. An additional consideration for many athletes, particularly those who weight train, is whether the implant should be placed above or beneath the muscle. For women with very well developed pectoral muscles this decision will need to be made in consultation with me. Implants that are placed under the pectoralis major muscle are used for women who don’t have a lot of breast tissue. This placement tends to give a more natural look but may be slightly more uncomfortable in the initial few days after surgery.  Implants placed under the muscle may move slightly when performing pectoral exercises but they return to their natural  position once the exercise is stopped. Implants that are placed above the muscle but under the mammary glands (sub-glandular) are considered by patients that have sufficient breast tissue to cover the implant for a natural appearance. There is no universal best option when it comes to athletes, and you will need to consult with me to determine which one is right for you. Because every woman’s body is built differently, the best way to determine how breast implants will affect your sport is to schedule a consultation with myself.  I will discuss your level of activity, aspirations and concerns.  This discussion will allow you to develop a customized approach to breast enhancement that works best for you,