It cannot be denied; breast augmentation still tops the statistics as the most requested surgical cosmetic procedure among women. In 2013, there were a total of 1,773,584 breast augmentation procedures performed worldwide, based on the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2013 International Study Report. In fact, it ranked as the number one cosmetic surgery procedure in six out of the top ten countries with the most cosmetic surgeries performed. And the popularity of breast implants does not seem to be slowing down, as breast augmentation is still seen to rise in the coming years.
Most often, we think of breast augmentation as a procedure only reserved for those aiming to have that swim suit ready figure and achieve more womanly curves and shape. But there is an unnoticed female demographic who surprisingly also are popular breast implant patients – the athletic women, which include weight lifters, crossfitters, competitive paddlers, swimmers, fitness models and golfers, among many others.
The Change in Breast Size in Athletic Women
One of the major physical changes that occur in an active woman is the change in her figure – particularly the size and shape of the breasts. Because of the rigorous physical training, a woman’s body changes as it burns more calories and builds more muscles. A change in breast size can occur mainly for two reasons. First is that your breasts are generally made up of fat tissues. As you burn more calories and use up fat storage for energy, this shifts your body fat percentage including the breast area. In addition, the pectoral muscles underneath the breasts become more developed and defined with intense strength training. These factors combined can result in the change of breast size, along with the changes in diet, as well as the use of muscle-enhancing supplements.
More than the change in the breast size alone, it can also have a significant effect on the proportions of your body. This can result in a more masculine form devoid of the shape and curves definitive that of a woman. That is why it does not come as a surprise that quite a number of athletic women resort to surgical enhancements to achieve a form that will still allow them to exude their femininity. However, if you are an active woman looking into getting your breasts surgically enhanced, there are certain factors that you have to consider when getting a breast implant.
The Right Size
One of the very first considerations when getting a breast augmentation is deciding on the right size breast implants. A wise baseline is always to consider your natural frame. You may also need to think about which area in your body you want to show definition when picking out your breast implant size to make sure that it looks well proportioned. Always remember that the bigger you go, the more likely that it will look unnatural.
Over Versus Under
Should your implants go over or under your pectoral muscles? The breast implant placement is a major issue for athletic women. Both placements have its own pros and cons.
Subglandular placement, or breast implants placed over the muscles, requires minimal downtime and does not impede in muscle activities, which is important for athletic women. However, one great is with going over is that it looks more obvious as there is not enough fat tissue to “cover” the implant. Also, this type of placement affects mammogram diagnoses, as it covers over the actual breast tissue.
On the other hand, submuscular placement, or breast implants placed under the muscles, looks and feels more natural because it allows for more complete covering of the implants. Also, it can lessen the incidence of breast capsular contraction. But the major disadvantage of this placement is the longer downtime and recovery period.
The type of placement will highly depend on the physical activities you are performing, while also taking into consideration your personal preference. Generally, the ideal placement is the subglandular, most especially for a woman who has enough tissue to conceal the implant, because it does affect the appearance of the muscles when flexing.
Whether it is round or teardrop, smooth or textured, choosing the right implant type is also important. Generally, the round implant type is easier to manipulate during surgery, as it can be inserted in any incision location. Also, there is less tendency for breast shape deformity after the surgery. On the other hand, the teardrop shape offers a more “anatomically correct” form because it tapers off towards the top with fuller volume below. But, the manner of insertion is limited by inserting it under the breast.
Also, the breast implant surface greatly affects the risk of capsular contraction. However, another implant surface called Fuzzy Brazilians, which is composed of a textured Polyurethane Foam covered silicone, has been recently introduced in Australia. A great advantage of this implant type is its adherence to surrounding breast tissue, which reduces the possibility of deformity and displacement.
Depending on the shape of breasts, as well as the definition of muscles in your chest area, nipple relocation may be necessary. It is important that perfect symmetry of both nipples will never be achieved. A big consideration for this is your skin type rather than symmetry, as results may look really great or can leave a very obvious scar. If there is no significant asymmetry, nipple relocation may no longer be necessary. But if it is, the procedure is ideally performed after three months postoperative healing.
If you are an active woman, the first thing you will want to know is how soon can you return to your exercise regimen. Since breast augmentation is an invasive procedure, it will require ample downtime and recovery period. Ideally, rigorous and strenuous physical activities, especially exercise routine targeting the chest area, should be avoided at least six to twelve weeks after surgery. However, cardio exercises can be performed a week after and lightweight about two weeks after.
The general rule is to ease in to your exercise regimen. Also, a basic guideline is that if it hurts, then stop and do not do the activity. In addition, it is wise to invest on a quality sports bra to help support your breasts during recovery period.
The question whether to get breast implants or not can also depend on the sport you are doing. The nature of your sports or physical activity will take form and part in the type, shape and placement of your breast implants.