Breast Augmentation for Athletes

Having participated in everything from spin to yoga to CrossFit to Kickboxing, a question I have been asked numerous times is “can I have a breast augmentation if I’m a gym junkie?”
The answer is yes – although there are a few things you may want to take into consideration.

I have seen a majority of athletic women opt for a sub-muscular, silicone implant as it can appear more natural on lean women with little body fat or natural breast tissue. The most important thing to remember is that breast augmentation is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. Here are some important things to consider.

Implant Size

Let’s be realistic. Headstands, handstands, jumping rope. All activities that may be easier with smaller breasts. That doesn’t mean you CAN’T undergo breast augmentation, it just means a small to moderate sized implant may be more comfortable for you. The average implant in the United States is between 350-400cc’s. Speak with your doctor about your specific activities and they will help you determine the appropriate size for you and your lifestyle.

Implant Type

There are definite pros and cons to each type of implant. Here are some facts for you to consider:


  • Smaller incision site
  • Volume can be adjusted during surgery
  • Less costly
  • Less natural breast shape and feel
  • Rippling/wrinkles may be visible
  • implant rupture more noticeable


  • Larger incision site
  • Best simulates look and feel of natural breast tissue
  • Highly cohesive implants available
  • Minimize the appearance of wrinkling
  • Implant ruptures less likely and harder to detect

Implant Placement

Sub-Muscular(under the muscle)

  • Less visible implant
  • More natural appearance
  • Less risk of capsular contracture
  • Takes longer for the implants to “settle in” and lower
  • Slightly longer recovery

Sub-Glandular(over the muscle)

  • Increased risk of implant “bottoming out”
  • Less natural appearance
  • Rippling more visible – a concern with saline implants
  • More of a round appearance
  • Quicker recovery

NOTE: If you are very lean with little natural breast tissue, there is not much to cover the implant which can result in a less natural appearance

And MOST importantly, your doctor.

Find a doctor you like. A doctor that listens to you and spends time with you. Selecting a doctor for a cosmetic procedure is very much the beginning of a relationship. There will be pre-op appointments, procedure days, post-op appointments, questions, concerns, etc.

Do your due diligence. See several surgeons fro consultations. Select a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon – one who specializes in breast surgery.  Read reviews, browse photo galleries, ask to speak to patients. There are several online forums for patients and potential patients to discuss options and experiences.

As an athletic woman, consider your doctor’s stance on exercise. discuss your workout routine and ask direct questions about how long you will need to lay low and be out of the gym. And listen to those directions. Recovery time is just as important to a breast augmentation as the actual procedure.

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