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Breast Implants for Athletes: What Women Need to Know

A great blog post by Dani Shugart, published author and physique competitor, has been making the rounds lately and once we read it we knew it was worth sharing. She writes all about the topic of breast implants for women who lift weights and build significant upper body muscle. Quite a few of our patients over the years have been bodybuilders, physique competitors, or professional fitness models, and it’s not uncommon for others to fall somewhere along the athletic build spectrum. Women come in all different shapes and sizes, and it’s important that those who fit into a more muscular category know what options they have outside of the gym to build the body they want.

But to be clear, that’s only if it is in fact what they want for themselves. One thing that makes Shugart’s post particularly important is her emphasis on the fact that “women can have amazing, sexy bodies even without bigger breasts. The way she feels about that body is what really matters.” Her story is so valuable because of her understanding that this was the right decision for her life and for her body. She spent a significant portion of her life feeling like her body was mismatched and out of proportion. Not every woman feels this way, and breast augmentation is not the right decision for every woman. But for women like Shugart, who consider their options carefully, have reasonable expectations, and meet with board certified plastic surgeons to make sure they have all the information they need, the decision to get breast implants can be made with confidence, comfort, and certainty.

So here are some suggestions and important information for women who train and are interested in breast augmentation.

1.) Talk to your doctor about your fitness routine.
When fitness is important to you, it will factor into your recovery period and your life after breast augmentation. It’s really important to be on the same page about your lifestyle and your goals. Being upfront with your surgeon will allow you to work together to create a plan that can get you back to your favourite physical activities within a timeframe that makes sense for you while also ensuring that your body has enough time to heal itself and recover safely.

2.) Exercise needs to be limited during recovery, but you won’t be off your feet forever.
Recommendations at The Plastic Surgery Clinic for recovery after breast augmentation allow for gentle exercise after 2 weeks. Our plastic surgeons generally recommend waiting one month before returning to upper body workouts, running, and high impact exercise. When your body is healing after surgery, it’s working to repair itself in a similar way to when you are injured. Think about how you would adjust your training if you sustained a significant injury and remember that recovery is a gradual process. You’ll likely be able to return to your regular routine sooner than later, but carefully following the advice of your plastic surgeon for your particular situation is always the number one recommendation.

3.) Over the muscle or under the muscle? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Breast implant placement is a very common concern for women who train. Placement under the muscle can create a more natural looking shape for leaner women who don’t have a lot of breast tissue to begin with. One disadvantage is that intense movements of the pectoralis muscle can cause the implant to move at the same time, creating a look that some women dislike (though it only occurs during intense exercise of these muscles, as with bench pressing). Women who have more breast tissue to begin with can have natural looking results with an implant placed over the muscle, but this is a more rare circumstance for many of our athletic patients. Every body is different. To know which placement is right for you, come see us for a free consultation.

If you’d like to learn more from an insider’s perspective on the experience, definitely give Dani Shugart’s excellent blog post a read.

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