The Athletic Breast Enhancement: Fitting breast augmentation into an active lifestyle.

Austin, Texas is a very health conscious city with a significant  amount of outdoor athletic activities. The active, athletic woman who desires breast enhancement usually has a slender and lean chest.

The goals of breast enhancement for this population are:

  1. Conservative increase in volume increase
  2. Natural appearing breast that fits the chest
  3. Easily fits in athletic apparel
  4. Limited down-time and early return to activity
  • The goal of the natural appearing breast augmentation is coupled with the goal of returning to athletic training soon after the operation.

The key to achieving the goals of the active and athletic woman seeking breast enhancement is a moderate profile round or anatomic breast implant placed under the muscle (sub-pectoral), usually in the 300 cc range, depending on the woman’s height and weight.

  • A high profile breast implant could be considered in a narrow chest patient wanting more breast volume.

Silicone breast implants, or the new “gummy bear” breast implants are the most natural feeling breast implant, which is important in the woman with a very lean chest. A saline breast implant should be used in the woman who is under the age of 22 in the United States.

One of the main concerns in the active woman who inquires about breast augmentation is the placement of the breast implant over or under the muscle.

  • Placement of the breast implant over the muscle does shorten recovery and eliminates any animation deformity of the breast implant when the pectoral muscle contracts.

The main disadvantage is that placement of the breast implant over the muscle can lead to an unnatural upper breast contour and rippling, which is noticeable in athletic clothing.

Upper pole shape can be improved with the use of an anatomic or “tear-drop” breast implant.

  • Placement of a breast implant over the muscle does affect the sensitivity of mammogram screening of the breast.

Advantages of breast implants placed under the pectoral muscle:

  1. Natural contour to the upper aspect of the chest
  2. Limits rippling and scarring around the breast implant
  3. Almost no effect on mammogram screening

Recovery after breast augmentation:

  • Less than one hour operation time
  • Light weekend activity
  • OK to lift arms above the head
  • It is usually recommend two weeks lay-off until cardio activity (heart rate less than 100) to help prevent bruising and swelling
  • 4 weeks to heavy lifting to allow for the pectoral muscles to relax and the breast implants to drop into a natural position.

The placement of the breast implant under the muscle should have no effect on chest strength and the ability to do upper chest and arm exercises. The reason for allowing the chest muscles to relax is that the chest muscles will be in a contracted position after the placement of the breast implants which does press on the implants and hold them in a high position. Allowing for chest muscle relaxation enables the implants to drop into the natural breast position.

Breast implant massage is usually started within one week, which helps to break the contraction of the chest muscle.

After three weeks the breast implants should assume a natural position and then after three months they will be very soft and move with the chest.

  • My goal is that the woman forgets that she has breast implants in place.

In certain circumstances exercises such as push-ups and swimming can aggravate the pectoralis muscle and lead to temporary firmness in the breast. This is likened to a “Charlie-horse” and will improve with massage and anti-inflammatories. Upper chest exercises should have no effect on the breast implants over time.

I encourage my breast implant patients to follow-up yearly to check the implant, but with the new generation silicone breast implants, the risk of problems such as scarring or capsular contracture, as well as rupture is very low.

Breast implants do not need to be routinely changed after 10 years; they only need to be changed if there is a problem; such as firmness, but more commonly for implant size change.

Breast enhancement for the athletic Austin woman does improve the body as well as improving self-esteem. The operation and recovery can easily be incorporated into any active woman’s lifestyle with a very short recovery.

Please schedule a breast augmentation with breast implants, consultation with Dr. Trussler in his Austin Texas plastic surgery office to help define the right breast enhancement for you.


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“I’m very happy with my breast augmentation! Dr. Trussler did a breast augmentation and did a fabulous job. A very special thank u to the staff at the clinic as well, follow up visit amazing. Would highly recommend, Andrew P. Trussler, MD - Austin Plastic Surgery if you want the BEST!”

– Ruby Ward, Patient


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