CrossFit and Capsular Contracture?

Good day! My wife had Breast Lift with Augmentation. The implant was placed under the muscle. She was fairly active doing Les Mills Pump and other workouts. Her doctor told her not to do ANY chest exercises following the surgery to include push-ups because it can cause Capsular Contracture. She wants to increase her fitness levels and start doing CrossFit but is worried about the Capsular Contracture. What are the chances/odds of this happening with exercise?

Doctor Answers 8

Exercise and capsular contracture

I have never heard of a capsule forming with exercisse. i tell my patients to avoid heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks and then if they did not have healing issues they are free to do all types of exercise.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Exercise and Capsular Contracture

Personally, I am not aware of any data that links capsular contracture and exercise together. Quite frankly, the only thing we are completely sure of is that capsular contracture happens less when the implant is submuscular vs. subglandular. We do encourage things like massaging the breasts, taking Vitamin E etc...but there are no guarantees that you will or won't get it if you do these things. 

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Do chest exercises cause capsular contracture? NO

I think it is unreasonable to think that capsular contracture is "caused" by ANY chest exercises. One of the benefits of placing breast implants under the pectoralis muscle is that there is a lower incidence of capsular contracture compared to placement of implants above the muscle. As long as your wife is well healed from surgery, she should be able to resume ALL exercises without any concern or risks.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 164 reviews

Crossfit and breast augmentation

Cross-fit should not cause capsular contracture. Actually exercise may reduce the chances of a capsule.  The most common theory is that a bio-film of bacteria causes the capsule to form and that has nothing to do with exercise. Doing chest exercise early after surgery when the implants are placed under the muscle or in a dual plane position may displace the implants lateral and inferiority.

CrossFit and Capsular Contracture? Good day! My wife had Breast Lift with Augmentation. Th

I would bet that most surgeons actually feel that exercise decreases the chances of capsular contracture. The reason we ask patients to go easy for varying periods of time is that vigorous use of the chest muscles early on may tend to put enough pressure on the implants to cause them to migrate laterally. Once the capsule has formed around the implant this is less likely to occur, but early on it is a real risk.

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Chest Exercises after Breast Augmentation?

I ask my patients to avoid heavy “chest” exercises ( including push-ups, benchpress…) for at least one year after the procedure. I do so, not because of concerns of breast implant encapsulation, but because of concerns of breast implant displacement. I am concerned that heavy contraction of the pectoralis major muscle may serve to gradually “push” the breast implants laterally.  Like most treatment recommendations in our specialty, I am sure that my recommendations are not universally ( or even widely) accepted.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Breast implants and exercise

Immediately after surgery and for the first 6 to 8 weeks, doing any heavy lifting or strenuous upper body activity is not recommended.

Capsular contracture is less of a worry, especially with implants placed under the muscle.  However, implant movement and a change in position of the implant due to heavy muscle contraction is a more likely complication of too early a return to activity.

Jason J. Hall, MD, FACS
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Crossfit

I can't say I agree that exercise produces capsular contracture however direct muscle activity of the chest area is restricted for 3 months to avoid the muscle pushing the implant into a undesired position- typically down and out.  So I would avoid pectoralis muscle exercise to avoid implant malposition for approximately 3 months. 

Stefan Mark Szczerba, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 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.