Low Body-fat and Breast Augmentation: Should I Prepare for Surgery by Gaining Weight?

I'm an athletic woman with ~17% BF considering breast augmentation. I also do regular strength training of the chest (heavy weightlifting). I would like to increase my bust size from 32A to 32D with subpectoral silicone implants. Is it beneficial in terms of ease of surgery and recovery to reduce the amount of training of the chest and gain more bodyfat in the weeks or months leading up to surgery?

Doctor Answers 8

Preparation for breast augmentation surgery of an athlete

Each surgeon has his or her guidelines preop and postop. Surgeons will generally recommend that you are at your long term stable weight prior to surgery, and that you are eating a healthy and nutritious diet. Consult further with your surgeon as he or she knows the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Preparing for surgery

While having a low body fat percentage won't prevent you from having surgery, just make sure that you are getting enough nutrients and protein in your diet so that you can recover more easily following your surgery. Best of luck.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Do not purposefully gain weight for surgery

Be at your baseline weight at the time of evaluation and at the time of surgery.  Also, for submuscular augmentation in someone as active as you, I usually recommend no working out that involves pec muscle for 6-8 weeks.  Discuss the specific details with your plastic surgeon and ask for his/her instructions. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Weight and breast augmentation

I think your goal is to show your surgeon your normal body habitus. Do not purposefully put on weight because it can affect the choice of implant you choose.  A consultation is key.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Low Body Fat and Breast Augmentation - Gain Weight prior to Surgery?

You should maintain your weight (or body fat content) at approximately where you expect to be after surgery. You do not need to alter your training regimen before surgery, but you will need to discontinue upper body weight lifting for at least 8 weeks following your surgery. Regarding your augmentation, there are a number of important considerations. You want to be careful about implant size as you obviously have thin tissues and a larger implant size will tend to thin your tissues more, and thus look less natural. Although if you truly are a 32, it doesn't take a very large implant to push you into the D cup range. In general people with thin tissues benefit more from a silicone implant.

Implants placed under the muscle have more tissue coverage and tend to look more natural and have less potential for visible rippling, however a submuscular implant will move to varying degrees when you contract the muscle (animation deformity), and some people find that uncomfortable. An implant on top of the muscle (subglandular or subfascial) minimizes the animation problem but can really thin the tissues with even modestly larger implants and can look really unnatural. So there are tradeoffs either way. I have a lot of body builder patients in my practice, and with thoughtful implant selection and careful surgical technique, they get very nice results with submuscular implants. 

Braden C. Stridde, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Athletic woman with low body fat desires breast augmentation

No, do not gain weight just for surgery. Since you are working out regularly with weights and working on building your chest muscles, I would discourage you to have submuscular implants. I would also discourage you to have a D cup. Your chest circumference is 32" and a large submuscular implant on you might be less than ideal. Female body builders do better with small subglandular implants. It will never look natural, it depends how much "fake" are you willing to accept. Please look at women body builders with implants in the body building magazines. Then decide if that is what you want. Good luck.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Weight?

Thank you for the question.

It is best if you are  your long term “stable weight”  before undergoing breast augmentation surgery (or any other body contouring surgery). This will allow you to achieve better longer term results without significant weight fluctuation after surgery.  Significant weight   or gain or loss  may change the size, shape and/or  position of the breasts (possibly to the point where further surgery is necessary to correct). 

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Should I Prepare for Breast Augmentation Surgery by Gaining Weight?

No. You should maintain your present weight and allow your PLastic surgeon to examine and measure you now to pick the ideal breast implants for your current dimensions.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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.