Saline Implants and Combat Sports.

I am getting breast implants and my doctor suggested overfilled saline, above the muscle. The size would be large and I am concerned that I will not be able to train in jiu jitsu anymore if I do go with overfilled saline. I have found limited information and many of the answers stated it would be okay but referred to smaller silicone implants. Training would involve a lot of pressure and wrestling with some impact. Would overfilled saline implants be too risky for someone who is active in combat sports?

Doctor Answers 7

Breast augmentation implants shock absorbers

I think it is a great idea to place breast implants that will serve as shock absorber to blows to your chest. Smooth implants have a lore incidence of rupture the textured. Silicone filled implants may be more durable. Good luck...

Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Saline Implants and Combat Sports

Is the question whether to have saline implants or no implants, or is it a choice between saline and gel? In the first place almost all saline implants are "overfilled" which just means they are filled about 10% above the lower fill range for the purpose of minimizing wrinkling. Being "overfilled" is the normal state for regular saline implants, and carries no increased risk of breakage with any activity compared to the same saline implant filled 10% less. Any implant carries a risk of rupture with intense concentrated force over a small surface area, while in general they resist rupture when force is applied over a broad area.  But it depends on the force. The only saline implant rupture I have encountered due to force, in over 28 years of practice, was a patient who spilled off of a wakeboard while at full speed. She had an immediate rupture. If the question is whether to have a gel implant instead of a saline implant, then you might consider that rupture of a saline implant just releases a salt solution into the breast pocket which is then quickly absorbed. You would know you had a rupture and could have the implant replaced.  If you had a forceful rupture of a gel implant, you might not know it was ruptured, and the gel could eventually get into the pocket lining or underlying muscle. Or the rupture might also tear the capsule and the implant allowing gel to be pushed into the soft tissues directly. I imagine it would take a tremendous amount of force to do this, as you can stand on a gel implant and it will not break.  But perhaps what you are doing could generate that force. I think that both saline and gel implants withstand normal forces and have a large additional margin for the kind of forces you are describing.  Still, if you are concerned about the consequences of rupture and the ease of detecting and dealing with it, then saline would seem to be preferable to gel in this specific situation. If you would like to have an implant that feels almost like a gel implant, but is filled with saline, you could consider the Ideal structured-saline implant that is now available from some practices.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast Implants and chest impact

Good morning and thank you for this good question. We can not say or predict about how much impact exactly any implant can withstand. However, the manufacturing companies do keep these things in mind while making these products. I have seen where implants have survived severe front impact car accidents and others rupture with no reason at all. I think you will be safe whichever route you decide to take. The implant and placement that has been recommended to you is a very large and "fake" looking appearance. If you're ok with that, then I feel you are safe to proceed. But if you're looking for a more natural appearance, then you might want to opt for a gel implant placed below the muscle. Good luck to you!

Michael K. Obeng, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Implants are durable and they all will eventually break

and fortunately, most come with warranties.  If you're dead set on having saline, make sure the manufacturer has a great warranty for use down the road.  If you don't want to deal with the inconvenience of a deflation, gels would be better.  As for size, pick a size you will be happy with and you can adjust your life around them as you won't be doing jiu jitsu forever, but your chest is 'forever' but understand larger implants could be an impediment to your activates.  Finally, why above the muscle?  If you have good reasons, then fine.  But if its just your surgeon's opinion, you would be better served getting a second opinion.  In my town, one surgeon pushes his patients to go above the muscle and his reputation is not the greatest for long term results...

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Saline Implants and Combat Sports.

I would share your concerns; be careful about going too large if you are very active.  The breast implants themselves are very durable  but larger breast implants may interfere with activities that you enjoy doing.  Also, make sure that you are well educated regarding the pros/cons associated with breast implants placed in the sub glandular versus sub muscular space.  You may find the attached link, dedicated to "patients in competition" interesting to you. Best wishes.

Saline Implants and Combat Sports.

Implants of any type are pretty durable. Overfilled saline implants over the muscle, especially in a thin patient, give about the most unnatural result you can find. That's good if unnatural is your goal. Otherwise you may want to get several opinions before undergoing surgery. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Over-filled saline implants above the muscle

saline implants are manufactured with a range of fill such as 465-505cc. Filling to 505cc is not considered over-filling but it is commonly discussed this way. The more an implant is filled above the top number, the more firm and round implant and subsequently, your breast, will be. I would caution you about implants over the muscle if you have thin tissues or any sagginess. Discuss your concerns with your board-certified plastic surgeon.
I wish you well.
Dr. Edwards

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.