Building Pectoral Muscles Before Breast Augmentation?

Will building up your pectoral muscles before getting a breast augmentation make the recovery difficult or more painful in any way?

Doctor Answers 14

Pectoralis strengthening and exercise prior to breast augmentation surgery

We generally advise patients to cease from pectoralis strengthening for 2-4 weeks prior to surgery to decrrease bleeding and swelling of the engorged muscle.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Building Pec Muscles Before Breast Augmentation

While exercising prior to surgery is always a good idea, I think it's important to just continue on your standard routine. Increasing your "fly" or pec work will probably not only not help your recovery but may make it more painful. Remember that you're breaking down the muscle every time that you work out. That muscle needs time to rebuild.

So don't change your routine; keep to your work out schedule. If you don't exercise don't start right before surgery.

Pumping up the pecs before surgery

Whether you build your pecs beofre breast augmentation or not sems to make no difference in your recovery.  I have had very strong muscled patients who have recovered as though they didn't even have surgery, so I think it is much more dependent on your personality and pain threshold than anything else. 

Better Pecs before Breast Augmentation

Whether you have exercised and built up your pectoral muscles should make very little difference in your recovery. What is important is following an effective stretching routine in the post operative period which has been shown to reduce pain and hasten recovery.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Well developed chest muscles should not affect augmentation recovery

Even if the chest muscle is well developed recovery after breast augmentation should be smooth and reasonably comfortable. The majority of breast implants placed in breast augmentation are positioned under the chest muscle, the pectoralis, for several reasons. The coverage of the upper edge of the implant will produce and smooth an natural contour and reduce the risk of roundness which can appear even through clothing. Also, by placing the implant under the muscle the implant has a tendency to stay softer with less risk of capsule contracture. There is a downside however. For those who are passionate about body building or competitive sport, flexion of the chest muscle will push the implant lower and distort the shape of the breast. Most will find that the benefits of submuscular augmentation outweigh the side effects, but for a few, subglandular augmentation with a silicone gel implant may be a better solution. Be sure to discuss both options.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Getting ready for a breast augmentation

This really isn't going to make a difference as the amount of muscle that you may add won't significantly affect the overall size. Also, if you're getting the implants placed under the muscle you may want to avoid any heavy chest building exercises so that your recovery is easier. Getting the implants over the muscle will give you an easier recovery, but you may see the outline of the implants more. Good luck!

Building pectoral muscles effect on breast augmentation recovery

It does not appear to make any regards recovery from breast augmentation regardless of how the implants are placed (over or under the muscle).

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Building up your pectoral muscles prior to breast augmentation

I have performed many sub-muscular breast augmentations in athletic women with strong pecs and have not noticed that it makes a difference in the final results. It does make the surgery a little more difficult because the stronger muscles will resist stretching that occurs during the surgery. Also, I do a total sub-muscular augmentation and do it via a muscle splitting (rather that cutting) approach. This technique avoids the potential of pectoral muscle deformity squeezing the implants.

I would also suggest muscle relaxers in the post-operative period especially in patients with stronger pectoral muscles.

Submusclar breast augmentation

Building up one's pectoralis msucles will probably not have any impact on the post-operative course of a submuscular breast augmentation.  The post-op pain is very subjective to the individual patient.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Only difference below and above the muscle

It will not make much difference in your recovery. The difference will be if you go on top of the muscle, which will be less painful. With good local anasthesia block at the end of the case, you should heal well.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.