Weightlifting and Upper Body Workout Question?

I'm scheduled to have my surgery in 2 1/2 weeks. I'm more excited than anything else but still somewhat worried about how my new breasts would react with weightlifting and high intensity training. I do understand that I have to take a couple of months off from heavy lifting and calisthenics. Is there a possibility that the my silicone implants may shift, move, even bust from doing chest workouts? I am having mine placed under the muscle.

Doctor Answers 9

Weightlifting with implants

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Submuscular implant placement is very common for patients with low body fat, including fitness models and athletes. I have had several patients in these professions, and they've all maintained and/or increased their strength in the chest area after surgery without implant displacement. The only thing you should be concerned about is following post-op care instructions closely, so that you can recover properly before you start exercising again. This is very important, but it appears that you already know this.


After Breast Augmentation a

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I recommend avoiding pectoral "flys" after subpectoral placement of breast implants. Since I release or divide the pectoralis muscle from the 3 o'clock to 7 o'clock (right side) and 4 to 9 o'clock on left side, the medial upper sternal (breast bone) attachments are intact and there is no muscle attachment or  coverage laterally. Thus working out the medial pecs  with flys can often displace the implants laterally.  I recommend starting the rest of the workout of upper body around 3 weeks depending on how you feel. I found this out with several of my patients years ago although I have not been able to find it in articles.

Manuel M. Pena, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon

Weightlifting and Upper Body Workout Question?

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Although I usually prefer sub-pectoral placement of implants, I do always consider above the muscle implants in body builders and serious weight lifters. Although it is quite unlikely that there will be any injury to the implants, they will move during lifting, and many women find that unappealing. Some patients report progressive lateral displacement of the implants from the repeated pressure of the pectoral muscles. Two months off lifting seems sufficient before resuming.

Discuss the pros and cons of position with your surgeon. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Submuscular Implants and Damage Due to Lifting

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    In general, the implants will not rupture unless a sharp object comes in contact with them.  With regard to the lifting of weights, if the contraction or muscle is strong enough or if the lateral attachments are not strong enough, implant displacement and migration can occur.  This is a complex issue and should be discussed with your plastic surgeon.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Weightlifting After Breast Augmentation

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I recommend that my patients avoid any upper body for four to six weeks after surgery. After that time, use common sense. If something feels uncomfortable, either modify the exercise or wait a bit longer to do that particular exercise. Within time you should be able to do whatever exercise you want. 

Workouts will be fine.

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Hard chest workouts will be possible when you are healed. I have many patients that are body builders and they are doing just fine. Do not work out for at least two weeks before surgery, I have operated on a patient who got in a work out just before surgery and the surgery was very difficult secondary to the hypertrophy of the muscles, 

Ralph M. Rosato, MD
Vero Beach Plastic Surgeon

Weightlifting and breast implants

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Breast implants are safe under routine use. Weightlifting after you heal appropriately should be fine. 

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

Weight lifting following breast augmentation

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You are correct in assuming that you will need to avoid intense chest workouts after your surgery for a few month.  Following surgery, once your surgeon says its ok, and you are able to begin working out, you may find that your implants move or become distorted with activation of your pectoralis muscle.  However, this type of workout should not cause any type of implant rupture.  I would definitely recommend that you discuss your concerns with your surgeon.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Weightlifting and breast augmentation

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I have never heard of breast implants rupturing from chest workouts. I have had patients who have had problems with the implants shifting during the workout and looking unnatural. I feel that it is usually best to place the implants on top of the muscle for serious weightlifters. This is something you should discuss with your surgeon as soon as possible so that you can make the right decision. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

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.