What Size Breast Implants Should I Get If I Am Very Athletic?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I want to get breast implants but I am concerned about them since I work out a lot. Am I at increased risks for problems if I run a lot and lift weights? Also should I have them placed above or below the muscle?  I don’t want them to look and move unnaturally. I also don’t want them to be too big so what size do you think I should get? Thanks!

A:  The debate about whether one should have their breast implants above or below the muscle is largely an historic one for most women. The benefits of being under the muscle, or a dual-plane approach, are significantly superior in the long-term. This would be particularly true in an athletic woman who often has little breast tissue to interface between the skin and the implant. Breast implants placed partially under the muscle tend to have fewer problems with visible rippling, long-term encapsulation, and interference with mammograms.  These advantages outweigh the potential for implant movement that can occur with pectoralis muscle flexion.

When it comes to implant size, this consideration would be of particularly significant in an athletic woman. You don’t want the implant size to interfere with any exercise activity. This basically refers to getting the implants too far to the side so it gets in the way of any arm swing. The best way to avoid this potential problem is to not get an implant whose base diameter is bigger than one’s own natural breast base diameter. This simple linear measurement will always avoid having a breast implant that looks too big as well.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana