Breast Implant Placement Options

Breast Implant Placement Options

The appearance, feel, and longevity of your breasts will all be affected by breast implant placement. But do you know the types of implant placement available and the benefits of each?

Up ahead, we’ll review subglandular placement, submuscular placement, and dual-plane placement in order to prepare you for your breast implant consultation appointment, at which you’ll be discussing these options with your surgeon.

Subglandular (Over the Muscle) Placement

Subglandular placement means positioning the implants above the chest wall muscle and beneath the glandular breast tissue. While this is a less common option than submuscular placement, subglandular placement offers several potential benefits:

Avoidance of Muscle Animation Deformity

If you are a physically active individual or athlete who engages in activities that involve chest muscle contraction, then subglandular placement may be best for you. This is because this type of placement may reduce the risk of muscle animation deformity, a condition in which the movement of the chest muscle causes visible distortion of the implants.

More Cleavage and Projection

Placing the implants above the muscle can also create more cleavage and projection, particularly for women who already have enough natural existing breast tissue of their own. Basically, the implants are positioned closer to the skin’s surface, so this means these women have a more prominent breast profile and maximized cleavage.

Faster Recovery

Because subglandular placement does not involve manipulation of the chest muscle, recovery may be slightly faster and less uncomfortable when compared with submuscular placement.

Submuscular (Under the Muscle) PlacementSubmuscular Implant

Submuscular placement means positioning the breast implants beneath the chest muscle, known as the pectoralis major muscle, or pectoral muscle. This placement offers several benefits, including:

Reduced Risk of Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture occurs when hardened and uncomfortable scar tissue forms around an implant. Fortunately, this condition tends to be less common with submuscular placement because the covering muscle provides an additional layer of tissue between the implant and the skin.

Natural-Looking Results

Placing each implant under the chest muscles can also help to create a more natural-looking breast contour. This is especially true if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of natural breast tissue to begin with.

Essentially, the added coverage provided by the muscle can help to camouflage the edges of the implants. This creates a smoother transition, whether the patient has saline implants or silicone implants.

Lower Risk of Visible Implant Rippling

Placing the implants behind the breast tissue and muscle can help minimize the risk of visible rippling as well. This is specifically true for women who have thinner skin or less natural breast tissue. The deeper placement means more than adequate soft tissue coverage.

Dual-Plane Implant Placement

Dual-plane breast augmentation surgery combines elements of both submuscular and subglandular placement techniques. With a dual-plane technique, the upper portion of the implant is positioned beneath the chest muscle, while the lower portion is placed directly beneath the glandular breast tissue, which provides these benefits:

Natural-Looking Results with More Projection

Dual-plane placement offers the benefits of submuscular coverage while also providing enhanced projection and shaping of the lower breast. This technique can be particularly beneficial for women with mild to moderate breast sagging or ptosis — a common issue following weight loss, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.

Customized Results

Dual-plane placement allows for a customized approach to a breast augmentation procedure, with the ability to address individual concerns such as breast shape, position, and projection.

Reduced Risk of Capsular Contracture

By partially covering the implant with muscle tissue, dual-plane placement may help reduce the risk of capsular contracture. The additional coverage provided by the muscle can help create a more natural-looking breast contour and minimize the risk of scar tissue formation.

Which Placement Is Best?

When deciding on placement of your implants, it’s essential to consider the following factors.

What Is Submuscular Implant Placement1. Your Natural Anatomy

Your natural breast tissue, chest wall anatomy, and body type will influence the optimal placement of your implants. Your plastic surgeon will assess these factors during your consultation and recommend the placement technique that best suits your unique anatomy and goals.

2. Desired Aesthetic Outcome

Your desired aesthetic outcome, including breast implant size, shape, and projection, will also play a significant role in determining the most appropriate placement for your implants. Discuss your aesthetic goals and expectations with your plastic surgeon at your consultation to ensure they understand your preferences and can recommend the best placement technique for you.

3. Lifestyle and Activity Level

Your lifestyle and activity level may influence the ideal placement for you. For instance, if you are very active or participate in activities that involve chest muscle contraction (like Pilates or weightlifting), submuscular placement may be preferable to minimize the risk of muscle animation deformity.

4. Potential Risks and Complications

It’s important to weigh the potential risks and complications associated with each placement option when making your decision.

Though rare, potential risks of breast augmentation include breast implant illness, suboptimal scarring, poor wound healing, and more. Your plastic surgeon will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each technique at your consultation to help you make the most informed decision possible based on your circumstances.

FAQ: Placement Options for Implants

Is it better to get breast implants under muscle or over muscle?

There is no right or wrong answer here. It depends on your anatomy, lifestyle, and desired outcome. The size and type of implant you choose may also play a role.

How much do breast implants cost?

Breast augmentation cost will vary depending on multiple factors. One of the key factors will be the size and type of breast implant you desire. Ultimately, you’ll need to set up a consultation to discuss cost and financing options.

Many online quotes do not take geographic location, particular surgeon’s fees, anesthesia, and other costs into consideration.

How visible are breast implant scars?

Scars from a breast implant incisions typically start as red or pink, gradually fading and flattening with time. Healing rate varies based on age, genetics, skin tone, and sun exposure.


Discuss Implant Placement at Your Consultation

You will learn more about each of the breast implant placement pros and cons at your breast augmentation surgery consultation appointment. Book yours today with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rachel Mason. We look forward to hearing from you!


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