Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 46 year old female who is interested in getting breast implants. I am currently weight training and looking to compete in bodybuilding contests next year. I am not a heavy body builder, my physique is more feminine but I do have to acquire a certain amount of muscle. I want to know how augmentation can improve my physique naturally. My questions about breast augmentation are should the implants be over or under the muscle? Can I still train after augmentation? How long do I have to wait to return to training after augmentation? Can I still run after augmentation? I have attached one of my training videos so you can see what kind of body that I have?
A: Congratulations on taking up a focused and goal directed workout program. It appears your goal is more towards figure competition rather than heavy muscular body building. Your body frame appear fairly small and petite so you would need proportionate breast implant size. (although that is a matter of one’s interpretation)
Since most breast implants are placed under the pectoralis muscle for less long-term risks (capsular contracture), this is very relevant given your exercise regimen. While disrupting the pectoralis muscle is always a concern in the avid exercise person, I have done breast augmentation in several true female body builders over the years and it has not turned out to pose any long-term disruptions in their regimens. There should be no problem returning to running and body building within two to three weeks after surgery. It may take you a month to get back to speed in regards to chest strength and arm range of motion.
There is always the option of placing the implants above the muscle (subglandular). But the only benefit that provides is quicker recovery.
The other consideration of above or below the muscle would be what shape of augmented breast one desires. (round vs tear drop) The location of the implant can influence that look although shaped breast implants today make that issue less relevant than it once was.
Dr. Barry Eppley