I Want Long Term, Low-risk Implants to Compliment my Athletic Lifestyle

I am athletic (In the Marine Corps), weight 135 lbs normally (fluxuates 10 lbs or so), am 5'5, dark hair and eyes, work out most days a week. I have normal B sized breasts, about 36 B.

I am concerned with long-term results and health. I care about being athletic and implants as well as having an implant that will last the longest with the lowest risk of sickness. What do you recommend? I would like to go a size or two up, have implants that last as long as possible, with my athletic lifestyle.

Doctor Answers 10

Best Implant for You?

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The best implant for you is probably the Natrelle silicone gel implant but the salines by Natrelle are also excellent.  Google Natrelle.    Choose a round smooth surface, mid profile, implant that is 270 to 330.   Make rice filled knee high socks and see what you look like in 270....300....330....   .  Get rice...knee highs...ounce measuring device, and remember 1 ounce = 30 cc.....so 10 ounces = 3000 etc etc etc... Wear these around in different clothes.  You will not get sick from implamts.  That nonsense has been long dispelled.    Gels and salines can both break eventually.  In fact 100% of breast implants all break eventually.  Saline will last 10 years  (95%).  and I have seen them go 37 years.  As long as all is well you NEVER need to change your implants.  That myth is also nonsense and is absurd.  If they break or rupture or sag or you want larger or smaller then change them.  This is not a big deal.  Go under the muscle and use a periareolar incision.   These incision sdefy detection and are the most appreciated by patients...period.   Wear a superior breast band for 2 weeks and at 2 weeks you can go full speed in exercise.  I have followed this for 30 years and still do this and all is well.   Good Luck.....Dr G commons (United State Air Force) 16 years.....Phillipines, Vietnam, South East Asia....74, 75, 76.   My Best.  Incidently you can get this done for almost no cost at a navy hospital.  While in the Air Force I did many breast enlargement procedures.   My Very Best.

Risks of Breast Augmentation

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Dear Pazzers,

Breast augmentation is an extremely popular procedure, with millions of satisfied patients, and is generally considered safe.

Having said that, getting breast implants does carry a small amount of risk, even in the best of hands, including implant rupture, implant migration, implant malposition, and capsular contracture (in addition to the general risks of surgery and anesthesia such as bleeding, infection, and scarring). With the current generation of implants approved in the US, about 15% of all patients undergoing breast augmentation with implants need or choose to undergo a second operation within the first 5 years. It's important to understand and be comfortable with this level of risk.

Judging from your photo, it appears that you could be a good candidate for breast augmentation. In addition to implants, breast augmentation via fat transfer could be another option to consider. I would consult with an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to learn more.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Athletic Lifestyle and Breast Implants

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As far as risks of sickness go, all the presently approved implants are equally safe. For your athletic lifestyle, however, I would use a silicone implant above the muscle. Putting them above the muscle reduces the risk of late rupture and does not interfere with your arm movements. They also feel natural and, even if they do rupture, the gel is quite cohesive, so it does not migrate like the old ones.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Smaller silicone gel breast implants under the muscle are better long term choice

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Thank you for your question. There are many factors which effect the duration of problem free breast implants after breast augmentation. Considering the small due to 3% risk of deflation of saline implants in my mind makes a silicon gel breast implant more likely to last longer.

There is no question that smaller breast implants have fewer problems than larger breast implants. By smaller I mean 250 cc or less

Placing the implants beneath the chest muscle also reduces the risk of visibility and capsular contraction both problems which can affect the longevity of your implants.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is experienced in breast augmentation, and has an excellent reputation in your community. Good luck

Best Breast Implants for Me?

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Generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering breast augmentation surgery ( regarding breast implant size/profile selection) is:

1. Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully. Concentrate on appropriate training, certification, and the ability of the plastic surgeon to achieve the results you're looking for. Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.

2. Have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining breast implant size/type/profile will most likely help achieve your goals. In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C or D cup” etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on him who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate.

The use of computer imaging may also be very helpful during this communication process.

3. Once you feel you have communicated your goals clearly, allow your plastic surgeon to use his/her years of experience/judgment to choose the breast implant size/profile that will best meet your goals. Again, in my practice, this decision is usually made during surgery.

I hope this (and the attached link) help.

Breast augmentation

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The size is really up to you. I would recommend looking at some photos and seeing what you like. But in general the bigger you go the more potential problems there will be and the more difficult it may be to pursue your athletic activities. Having said that the most common complaint after surgery is that patients wish they had gone bigger not smaller.

David E. Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Breast Augmentation for Athletic Women

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Women, who are active, healthy, and athletic, can and do choose to have breast augmentation.  We typically recommend a size in the 250-350 CC range which is compatible with vigorous exercise. The complication rate for implants, as far as rupture or deflation, is about a 10-15 year horizon; so it's likely that you will be fine for that period of time with a breast augmentation and not need any “maintenance”.  However, you'll have to discuss this with your plastic surgeon and consider the choice of the implants that you will select.  You can choose saline or silicone and they both have approximately the same longevity and are both FDA cleared.  In an absolute sense, saline implants are safest because it is the same saline as your eye drops or intra-venous. I don't hesitate to recommend silicone implants because they are softer and feel more like breast tissue and have also been shown to be safe.  The two U.S. manufacturers of breast implants include Mentor and Allergan/Natrelle. Both are broadly similar in characteristics as far as safety and how long the implants will last.

Bear in mind that any man made device (like this) will not last forever and will require to be changed.  Luckily, the time frame for this change is approximately 10-15 years but may vary based on the size and the type of implant as well as your activity limits and lifestyle.

Breast implants in athletes

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In general, breast augmentation surgery is a safe procedure when performed by a board certified plastic surgeon in an accredited facility. Breast implants do not "cause sickness", but there are potential risks involved. There are two main brands (Mentor and Allergan-Natrelle), and while your surgeon may have a preference on brand, neither one has a better safety profile than the other. The quality of implant available now is definitely better than prior versions, but they are not permanent lifetime devices. Over time there is a risk for implant related malfunction (rupture or leak) , and capsular contracture which may require surgery. Also, mammograms in patients with implants require additional views (Eklund views) in order to visualize all of the breast tissue. This tends to be easier with implants placed under the muscle. I have performed breast augmention in many athletic women, including fitness instructors, personal trainers, and police officers, and they have been very happy with dual-plane placement (upper part under muscle, lower part under breast tissue). The problems associated with implants tend to be greater with larger implants. Breast implants also do not stop the clock on aging, and your breasts will continue to change as you get older. You also have the choice of silicone or saline implants, and each have differents pros and cons. I think you would do well with silicone implants placed below the muscle in a dual-plane fashion. Another option is placing the entire implant below the breast (not below muscle). This will avoid the type of distortion you might see with pec muscle movement, but the risk of capsular contracture is greater in this location, and it is easier to see the borders of the implant or rippling if you don't have a lot of  breast tissue to start with. I recommend consulting with a plastic surgeon in person, going over your concerns, and together deciding what is best for you. Good luck!

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Long term implants for the athletic lifestyle

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All implants are safe, both saline and silicone gel, and both have a similar wear profile, about 10 years. The differences here are trivial and you will need to replace implants as they wear during your lifetime, just a fact. The two cup size increase for the weight lifting Marine, really? My suggestion would be a smaller low to moderate profile subglandular gel implant. Athletics and breast implants (Marines?) can pose significant challenges so do some soul searching and be careful what you ask for.

Best of luck,


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

Breast implants for active lifestyle

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I would recommend silicone breast implants since they have a lower rupture rate (3%) compared to saline (10%) at ten years.  Most patients benefit from having the implants placed in a subpectoral (under the muscle) location, however, depending on just how active you are (weight lifting) you may consider placing them in front of the chest muscle (subglandular). The downside to a subglandular implant is that it has a higher rate of capsular contracture (hard scar tissue) and makes interpreting mammograms more difficult.

Please consult with one or more board certified plastic surgeons in your area for a thorough exam and explanation of the risks of this procedure.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 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.