Potential Impact of Exercise on Breast Implants?

I do really vigorous power walking with lots of intense and exaggerated arm movements (hard punches, scissoring movements) to rev up the cardio effect. Could this affect the position of breast implants?

Doctor Answers 4

Breast augmentation and exercise

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If you do vigorous exercise it may be benedifical to wear a snug bra to keep things in place.  Good luck.

Breast Augmentation and Exercise?

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Thank you for the question.

I have found that most forms of exercise do not have “impact” on breast implants once they have settled and matured. Very heavy lifting involved the pectoralis muscle ( for example benchpress,  pull-ups,  pectoralis flies,  or push ups)  tend to cause the implants to move to the side if they are done too soon after surgery.

Some “distortion” of breast implants can also occur during activities involving the pectoralis muscle.

Despite these issues,  I strongly favor the  sub pectoral breast implant positioning ( dual plane)  for the majority of patients undergoing breast augmentation surgery. This positioning allows for more complete coverage of the breast implants leading to generally more natural feel/look  of the implants in the long-term. This position will also decrease the potential for rippling and/or palpability  of the implants (which may increase with time, weight loss, and/or post-pregnancy changes).

The submuscular positioning  also tends to interfere with mammography less so than in the sub glandular position. The incidence of breast implant encapsulation (capsular  contraction)  is also decreased with implants placed in the sub muscular position.

I hope this helps.

Issues for breast implants in athletic women

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Thre are some important issues to consider so you are wise to think about your options. Implants are most often placed under the muscle for better coverage and more natural contours around the implant, which is especially important for women with low body fat (as is the case with physically active people.) However, in this cinrcumstance there is the possibility of the muscles pushing the implants out of position over time, and also what are called "animation deformities" which are distortions of the breast when the pectoral muscles are flexed. Often the best compromise in my experience is what is called the split muscle approach (not the same as "dual plane"). This provides coverage where it is most needed but minimizes the potential for implant displacement and animation. 

Exercise may affect the position of breast implants

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Particularly if the breast implants have been placed under the pectoralis muscle, vigorous exercise may affect breast shape over time.

Breast implants, size, position, body habitus, tissue thickness and tone as well as exercise pattern all contribute to the longevity of the breast augmentation outcome

Mario Diana, MD
Plano 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.