Posted: July 14, 2017
Do fake boobs float? Is swimming with breast implants possible? These are common questions asked of Weston plastic surgeon Dr. Jon Harrell – and not just because of our proximity to the beach. Knowing how your breast implants will interact with water may be an important consideration, especially if you are someone who enjoys time in the pool or ocean.
Do Fake Boobs Float?
Breast implants are not a floatation device. They will not make you buoyant. They are not a suitable alternative to a life vest.
Breast implants, even those placed above the muscles of the chest, are not capable of making a person float. This is true for all types of breast implants, regardless of size, shape, filling, or density. Any worry about breast implants preventing comfortable swimming is unnecessary for most women.
Your breast implants will not turn you into a human bobber. In fact, when breast augmentation is performed appropriately, there should be no indication that your breasts are not entirely natural, even when you’re swimming.
Is Swimming with Breast Implants Possible?
Swimming with breast implants is, for the casual swimmer, no different than swimming without them. Neutrally buoyant, breast implants float and sink in the manner your movements dictate and, just like natural breast tissue, will go as far underwater as you take them. However, competitive swimmers may find some slight drag created by the larger size of augmented breasts.
In the mid-1980s, there was a minor controversy about the theoretical and reported impact of breast implants on a swimmer’s top speed. Apparently, a competitive swimmer who had received breast implants reported that they decreased her top speed in the water by 20%. Based on modeling used to determine the drag coefficient for ship’s hulls, the surgeon’s predicted the change in her shape should only decrease her speed by about 11%. In response, other surgeons did experiments in which varsity swimmers were asked to put buoyant rubber softballs in their swimsuits and analyze the impact on swimming speed. The result was a 9-12% decrease in times. A competitive swimmer for whom this would represent a significant factor may want to wait until she is finished competing before getting breast implants.
On the other hand, breast implants have come a very long way since the mid-1980s. Placement options, implant filling, and outer shells have advanced with the times. There have been no peer-reviewed, data-driven studies conducted into modern breast implants and their impact on competitive swimming. However, if you are a professional athlete, you may wish to weigh the anecdotal evidence more heavily before undergoing breast augmentation.
Will Breast Implants Impact Pectoralis Muscles?
There is some evidence that implant placement can impact the performance of pectoralis muscles. When implants are placed underneath the muscles, they may reduce your ability to perform more advanced weight lifting and pectoralis strengthening exercises. This is typically not an issue for women who are not bodybuilders, as implants shouldn’t interfere with basic exercise or athletic endeavors.
If you are a weightlifter, talk to Dr. Harrell about your implant placement options. Studies have not found implants placed above the chest muscles to impact physical performance. This placement option may be better if you are engaged in more progressive forms of bodybuilding.
Breast implants will not make you float. They will not interfere with casual swimming and they will not reduce your ability to perform basic exercises. If you are a competitive swimmer or bodybuilder, you will want to talk to Dr. Harrell about placement options to help guard against potential problems. This will be discussed in detail during your breast augmentation consultation at our Weston, FL office.
Please call Weston Plastic Surgery at 954-526-0066 to schedule your consultation today. Our board-certified plastic surgeon serves Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Plantation, and all surrounding areas of Florida.