22 Sep Under Muscle Or Over Muscle: Best Place For Breast Implant Placement
Breast Implants Are More Than Size
For patients considering breast augmentation or reconstruction, there are a lot of decisions to make before surgery. Breast augmentation goes beyond the size of the breast. Both surgeon and patient must decide the location of the implant as well. Breast implants can go under the chest muscle or over the chest muscle, and each procedure has key differences. Using a set of indicators, the surgeon can help patients choose the right one.
Why implant location matters
The location of the implant plays a significant role in how natural the implant will look. Some patients will need the implant installed over the pectoralis major chest muscle. Others choose under the muscle. The right location prevents capsular contracture, where firm, dense tissue grows around the implant. The condition can cause chest pain and distort the shape of the breast. Implant location also affects the movement of the implant and unwanted actions like rippling. Here’s what happens in each procedure.
Over the muscle with subglandular implants
Subglandular breast implants refer to those placed on top of the pectoralis major muscle. The implant will go just below the fat and tissue. The surgeon will make an incision under the breast or on the areola to place the chosen implant. Surgeons recommend subglandular implants for women with sufficient tissue in the breast. The additional tissue helps to achieve a more natural result and is safer for larger implants.
Pros and cons of subglandular implants
Some surgeons prefer this option for several reasons. First, the surgery is less invasive, meaning the patient will recover faster. The final results also happen much faster than surgeries under the muscle. However, a significant disadvantage is that subglandular implants increase the chances of capsular contracture. Capsular contracture can slightly shift the implant in some cases, needing correction surgery. Furthermore, if there is not enough breast tissue, the implant may look more round and show signs of rippling.
Under muscle surgery, aka Submuscular implants
Some implants go under the muscle, called submuscular implants. The silicone or saline implant actually goes between the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles. The bottom part of the implant is still exposed to the breast tissue. The muscle has to be lifted, stretched, and cut to fit the implant. The surgery often happens from the armpit to give the doctor full access to the muscle. Submuscular implants are preferred for women with smaller breasts and no supporting tissue.
Pros and cons to expect
Submuscular implants tend to have a smoother, more natural shape. The implant also stays in place, supported by the two muscles. Another advantage is that this location reduces the chances of capsular contracture and makes softer transition in the upper pole. At the same time, the surgery recovery time is much longer. There is an increased chance of post-operative infection, implant deformities, or muscular complications. Furthermore, women are more likely to lose some strength in the muscle after surgery. Despite the longer recovery time, patients are often satisfied with the results of submuscular implants.
Choose what’s right for you
A board-certified plastic surgeon should discuss the risks and complications of each procedure. Both also have pros and cons. The surgeon will make the right recommendation based on weight, health, breast size, chest cavity, and much more. Existing chest tissue, for instance, is a big indicator of which one the surgeon will choose. Remember these factors along with individual needs to make the best decision. Both procedures are powerful enough to bring an excellent result, so choose what feels right.