Breast Implants Q & A

Q: Where should a breast implant be placed?

A: Most body building/athletic women tend to have the implants placed under the muscle. This will make the breasts look more natural, rather than having them look fake and/or unusual. However, sometimes when the implant is placed under the muscle, some irregularities may be seen with movement, so it is important not to go too big. Make sure to choose an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable to achieve the best outcome.

Q: After breast implants, are you never again supposed to work out your chest muscles?

A: There is no real contraindication to working out after breast augmentation. The main rule of thumb is do not do anything that hurts.

Usually, I would advise to gradually work your way into your regular routine starting 6 weeks post surgery. The contraction of the chest muscles can move the implant while you work out, which may look a little odd, but if you are well healed, then no damage should be done. Be sure to discuss your feelings openly with your plastic surgeon to make sure you guys are on the same page.

Q: What can I do before and after having breast implant surgery to cut the risks and complications?

A: When having a breast augmentation, research about the surgery is very important so you can better understand what exactly is involved with the procedure. The most important thing is to find an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon with whom you feel comfortable. Following all of your surgeon’s instructions is also a key to reducing complications. These include stopping smoking 2 weeks before and after surgery, and stopping certain medications like blood thinners, vitamins, and herbal products. Finally, do not overexert yourself when performing daily activities after surgery.

If followed correctly these points will give you a lesser chance of experiencing complications.

Q: When can I start raising my arms over my head after breast augmentation?

A: Patients typically wait about 1-2 weeks before lifting their arms above their heads after breast augmentation. The main thing to remember is don’t do anything that is uncomfortable or causes pain. You should be able to return to work in about 1-2 weeks, but lift your arms slowly at first, and return to normal as you continue to feel no discomfort. Do not lift anything at first, but after one week, you can start lifting light things and progress to heavier things as long as it does not hurt. Some tightness may still be present, but that is normal after surgery.

If wearing a sports bra is more comfortable for you then you should wear it until you feel you’re ready to switch back. Make sure to follow up with your surgeon for his opinion on when to advance your activity.

Q: How will breast implants affect exercise in the long run?

A: Following a proper post-op schedule, your exercising should not be affected after breast implants. Certain exercises such as bench press may move the implants in their pocket when the muscle contracts, but this has not been shown to cause contraction.

If you choose a large implant then it may be more difficult jogging or performing other weightlifting exercises. If you are a very active person, you may want to avoid a very large size, because you may be unhappy with the limitations. Speak with your plastic surgeon and let him or her know your routine and he or she will guide you in the right direction.

For personalized guidance on choosing the right breast implant for you, please call Associates in Plastic Surgery at (800) 860-1435 or complete our online form.