Choosing the Correct Breast Implant: Part 4 Exercise and Sports
If you’re the type that likes to seriously sweat at the gym, run or bike extensively, or do any kind of serious sports or training then you have to consider the trade off between larger breasts and performing your activities at your current comfort level. This isn’t to say that breast augmentation will limit your activities. Or that it’s not possible to attain the look you desire without giving up your fitness. It’s simply that larger breasts will initially feel different, need more support and frankly if too large, could be cumbersome during work-outs.
Today most implants are placed under the pectoral (chest) muscle. To do this a small portion of the muscle is cut along its insertion over the inferior medial ribs and sternum. This allows access to the subpectoral pocket and correct placement of the implants. This muscle division is the primary reason for the soreness that patients experience after surgery. Exercising after breast augmentation surgery, when the pectoralis muscle is extensively used, can be uncomfortable for several weeks. Although I encourage patients to return to gentle exercise within 4-5 days, strenuous aerobic activity or upper body weight lifting should be avoided until 3-4 weeks after surgery.
Next, it’s important that you adequately support your breasts. Excessive motion, such that occurs during running, will stretch tissues in the breasts called “Coopers Ligaments.” These thin fibrous bands connect the breast tissue to the chest wall. Stretching them will cause them to elongate and thus allow the breasts to sag. A strong sports bra with good support is essential to maintaining the post surgical appearance of your breasts. And don’t be afraid to discard a used bra. Like other athletic equipment, bra material loses strength with repeated washings.
So have a frank discussion with your surgeon. Explain what your breast and aesthetic desires are as well as your physical activity. A compromise will be easy to attain. It may simply involve using a smaller or lower profile implant to achieve both goals.