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Breast Augmentation for Athletic Women

Does this sound like you? You're working tirelessly in the studio and/or gym, you're extremely mindful about your caloric intake and your general appearance.  You are working hard to keep your body in pique physical condition, and you might even be competing in professional sports.

Women who embrace fitness as a way of life generally have lower body fat percentages (somewhere between 10-12%), and smaller breast tissue. Because of their muscle to soft-tissue ratio, it's important for plastic surgeons to get their final result as natural-looking as possible. Natural-looking breast augmentation refers to the use of implants that are more natural shape than those used in traditional augmentation procedures, and for fit women, a beautiful breast augmentation can be the finishing touch to their physique.

 More on fit breast augmentation by fitness blogger Becca Borawski here.

Breast Implants For Women With A Fit Body Type

subfascial breast augmentation, natural breast augmentation results for athletic women

Creating a natural look for fit women always starts with placing their implant of choice underneath the pectoral muscles of the chest. Below are some advantages to placing the implants underneath the pecs:

  • more tissue covering the implant and thus less rippling
  • a smoother transition in the upper pole that hides the implant
  • lower incidence of capsular contracture
  • more support for the implant

Some board-certified plastic surgeons would argue that the greatest benefit of placing the implant under the muscle is the lower incidence of capsular contracture (50% less) than if the implant is placed above the muscle and below the breast tissue (sub-glandular placement).

However, one significant downside to the submuscular placement of implants:  the implants will move with contraction or flexion of the chest muscle. This phenomenon is called "Animation Deformity."


What Is Animation Deformity In Breast Augmentation?

Animation deformity is visible in athletic and fit women during exercise or any type of activity where the pec muscles are flexed.

And even if her breast augmentation results are natural-looking while at rest, the animation can be a dead giveaway that a woman has breast implant surgery. This is most often noticed in form-fitting and off-the-shoulder clothing, swimsuits, and fitness apparel.

I've personally had many female athletes complain that they are frustrated and self-conscious about their breast shape and breast appearance when working out. In cases like these, I’ll also uncover that during their primary breast augmentation consult with another plastic surgeon, their lifestyle habits were not reviewed in detail.  In cases where fit women are noticing animation deformity, I'll recommend augmentation revision surgery to give produce a natural look that works with their lifestyle.

To view A to B breast augmentation pics, click here.

To view A to C breast augmentation pics, click here.


How To Avoid Animation Deformity

subfascial breast augmentation, natural breast augmentation results for athletic women

Fit patients have a unique option for getting their breast implants done right the first time: subfascial breast augmentation. The fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that covers the chest muscle. The fascia can be separated from the chest muscle and the implant is placed under the fascia. Studies show that this offers some protection against capsular contracture while still allowing the implant to rest on top of the muscle which prevents animation deformity.

In these athletic women, subfascial pocket placement can be combined with several other factors to give a beautiful result:

  • implant size: low plus or moderate profile implants to avoid over projection
  • precise implant pocket dissection that prevents movement of the implant
  • selection of softer silicone smooth round silicone implants that allows the gel to naturally take the shape of a teardrop or anatomic style implant
  • use of a silicone gel implant or structured saline implant (Ideal Implant®) to decrease rippling and provide a more natural feel

Following this algorithm can give an athletic patient some of the advantages of the sub-muscular implant placement while at the same time avoiding animation deformity of the implants in fit women's breast augmentation surgery.


Breast augmentation specialist, Dr. John Burns is one of the leading breast augmentation surgeons in the United States. Having performed well over 5000 primary breast augmentation cases alone, Dr. Burns was selected as one of America's Top Plastic Surgeons by Newsweek and Statista. He offers, both virtual and in-office, complimentary breast augmentation consultations for women seeking breast augmentation in Dallas and throughout the United States, and the world.