Will my Athletic Ability As a D1 Athlete Be Affected if I Get Breast Implants?

I am a Division 1 swimmer on scholarship at my university. I have wanted implants for many years. I have a thin, athletic build with AA to small A cup. Will breast implants to a full B cup hurt my athletic ability in any way? Are they a bad idea for someone of my body type? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Athletic ability

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You should think twice about getting augmentation surgery as this will alter your center of gravity in addition to increasing your over all weight. Altering your center of gravity will definitely affect your running dynamics. Although these changes are subtle, if your livelihood depends on it, then I would not recommend altering any part of your body.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Breast Implants May Impede Performance In A College Swimmer

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It would be fair to say that getting breast implants will not improve your performance and will likely have an adverse effect. No matter how small the implants are, they will increase drag in the water and your strength of pectoralis muscle movement may be slightly diminished. As a competitive swimmer, you are best to wait until that experience is over. You can get breast implants anytime and enjoy their benefits for many decades. Your college swimming experience is far more time limited so you should enjoy the competitive experience implant-free for now. 

Breast implants in a competative swimmer

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The short answer is yes, breast implants will compromise your performance and add seconds to your time. Submuscular placement will cause a loss of your edge, and the fullness can produce more drag in the water. Sorry, but it is best to wait until you swim for fun on a less competative level.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Breast implants may slow you down.

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We actually had a competitive swimmer who got implants and then felt that the implants increased drag through the water.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants in Collegiate Swimmer

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I agree that in your case you probably should delay your breast augmentation until finish your career as a competitive swimmer.  The surgery would definitely interfere with your training and might also adversely affect your times.  You sound as if you would be a very good surgical candidate after finish swimming competitively, however.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Breast implants in a swimmer

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If you are actively competing at level 1 college sports, you may want to hold off until you are no longer competitively swimming. While I doubt it will impact your overall performance, you will need downtime probably of at least 6 weeks before you can go back to your usualy workouts.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.