If you are a woman lifter, you know that working out with weights can give you an amazingly strong, confident body. One negative side effect of lifting, however, is a decrease in breast size. Because of this, many women opt for surgical augmentation. As with any major surgery, it is a good idea to educate yourself before deciding on implants…you need to know your options and their potential impact on your weight lifting routine.
Like male breasts, female breasts are made up mostly of fat and connective tissue. But they also contain milk ducts, lymph nodes and blood vessels. When you lose body fat, there is no way to prevent fat loss in the breasts. The “pecs” lie just behind the breasts, separating them from the rib cage. Other muscles affecting the breast area include the anterior deltoid, which works with the pecs to horizontally flex the shoulder, and the serratus anterior, which runs along the rib cage beneath the armpits. Exercises involving the pecs, deltoid and serratus muscles are the ones most likely to cause implant-related discomfort.
Is implant placement important?
There are options for insertion and placement of implants and you should take an active role in deciding which is best for you. The most common insertion site is in the fold below the breast. This site allows the surgeon more control and a better view of where the implant is being placed. It is also the site at which the implant is least likely to be damaged during placement. Implants can be positioned either beneath or in front of the pectoral muscle.
- For athletic women with low body fat, Silverman prefers placement under the muscle. This is because the muscle provides a barrier of tissue between the implant and your skin, giving a more natural look. When discussing augmentation with Dr. Silverman, be sure to express any concerns you have about the procedure as it pertains to your type and frequency of exercise.
What happens post-surgery?
Walking in the first six weeks post-op is recommended, but high-intensity or high-impact exercise in any form should not be undertaken until after six weeks. Lifting too early or too much can interfere with healing and recovery, and may cause the implants to shift and become malformed.
- Silverman, recommends resuming your normal chest routine and weight loads within eight to twelve weeks after your procedure. To prevent injury, start slowly with light weights to allow your joints and muscles to adapt to your new shape.