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Breast augmentation for athletic women

Breast augmentation for athletic women

Lake Norman plastic surgeon

Breast augmentation in athletic women can pose unique challenges. The choices that a woman and her surgeon make before the procedure as well as during the recovery period can have a significant impact on the results, including the aesthetic result as well as her athletic performance after the procedure. If you’re an athlete and considering getting breast implants, what factors might you want to consider as you make your decisions?

Submuscular placement has a small impact on the performance of the muscle

One of the major decisions in breast augmentation is whether to place the implants above or below the pectoralis major muscle (the large flat muscle of the chest). Athletic women tend to be very thin, with minimal fat tissue on the chest. Submuscular placement (placing the implants below the muscle) is often preferred for thin women, because it adds an extra layer of coverage over the implant to reduce the chances of issues like visible rippling. When there is very little fat tissue to cover the implant, placing the implants above the muscle may lead to a less natural-looking result.

At the same time, the placement of an implant under the muscle does require dividing a part of the muscle away from its attachment. Afterwards, that part of the muscle will not be able to function in quite the same way. Most women will not notice the difference during their everyday movements, since most of the muscle remains intact. However, women who are very athletic may notice the difference, especially if they’re competitive in their sport. Some athletes may choose to place the implant above the muscle (subglandular placement) in order to avoid the decrease in performance of the muscle.

Choose a proportional size

For thin women in general, large breast implants don’t create a natural-looking result. They look disproportionate to the rest of the body, and so they appear obviously augmented. For women who prefer a natural-looking result, this is an important factor to think about.

In athletic women, there are additional considerations. Large breast implants have the potential to interfere with athletic activities. For example, the motion of throwing a ball may be altered if the implants are too large. Additionally, large implants may lead to back, neck, and shoulder pain, and the added weight of the implants could affect the performance of an athlete. Because of this issue, we recommend a more modest size increase for an athletic woman, rather than a dramatic enlargement. This will create a lovely feminine body shape that looks natural, without interfering with her athletic pursuits.

Allow for rest during the recovery period

For many athletic women, athletic activity is a lifestyle, not just a hobby. It’s often hard for them to imagine going for a few weeks without a workout. However, the quality of your results depends on giving your body enough rest during the postsurgical recovery period. After your breast augmentation procedure, there will be swelling in the tissues of your breasts as the body adjusts. Exercise increases your heart rate and blood pressure, so it tends to increase this swelling, potentially leading to damage to the tissues. This can impact your results long-term.

It’s particularly important to rest the muscles of the chest, especially if you had your implants placed under the muscle. We generally recommend that patients wait at least six weeks before they begin doing weightlifting or other strenuous activities with these muscles. While some plastic surgeons may tell you that you’re “allowed” to return to activity sooner, the truth is that this advice is potentially damaging. Nothing can be done to speed up your body’s healing process; it just takes time. Allowing the muscles time to recover after the procedure will lead to the best results.

Once you’re fully healed, then your implants won’t limit your athletic activities in the years to come. You’ll be able to run, swim, lift weights, and even scuba dive with your implants. Taking a little time off from your workouts during your healing period will maximize the chances that you get a beautiful result that you can enjoy for years to come. If you’re an athlete and you’re considering breast augmentation, it’s absolutely crucial that you plan for a few weeks of rest following your procedure.

Lake Norman plastic surgeon

There are a variety of factors to take into consideration when it comes to breast augmentation for athletic women. If you’re thinking about getting breast implants, then a consultation with a plastic surgeon will be very helpful. You’ll be able to ask questions and get personalized advice based on your body type, your exercise habits, and your needs and goals.

If you’re in the area around Charlotte and Lake Norman, we invite you to visit our office for a consultation with Dr. Miles. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Miles has had the opportunity to place implants in hundreds of women, with various body types. He can give you a realistic idea of the results you can likely expect, and can help you to make the choices that are right for you to meet your goals. To schedule your personal consultation, simply contact our office today.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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