Breast Implant Placement 101

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Breast augmentation surgery may be a surefire way to get the breasts you ultimately desire, but when it comes to making decisions, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration. A properly trained board-certified plastic surgeon should be able to guide you through your decision-making process. One of those decisions will be if your implants should go over or under the muscle. So, what’ the difference?

Subglandular: Over the Muscle
The upside: Since the implant is placed over the pectoral muscle and below the breast tissue, recovery time is usually shorter because there is fewer traumas to the underlying tissues. Placing the implant over the muscle can also give a slightly lifted look.

The downside: The implant sits closer to the surface of the skin, making it more detectable through touch and more visible if your skin is thin. In a mammogram, additional views may be necessary.

“Silicone implants allow for more patients to have their implant placed subglandularly (in front of the muscle) because there is less rippling and visibility with silicone,” explains Washington, DC, plastic surgeon Scott Spear, MD.

Submuscular: Under The Muscle
The upside: Positioning the implant below both the pectoral muscle and the breast tissue allows for the implant to be less visible and act as an internal bra, keeping the implant in place. The implant is also only partially covered by muscle, so it’s less likely to cause problems with mammograms.

The downside: It’s a more painful recovery because the internal anatomy of the tissue behind the breast is hanged more.

Placing the implant under the muscle is good for those who are thin because it provides extra coverage over the implant, which gives a more natural look.


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