When you decide to undergo breast augmentation, you have several decisions to make. One of these decisions is whether to have your breast implants placed over your chest muscle or beneath it.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer that works perfectly for every patient. The approach you and your surgeon select depends on several factors, and you must evaluate each option to find the right fit for your case.
Read on to learn more from the team at The Plastic Surgery Center.
Over the Muscle Placement
Over the muscle placement (a.k.a., “subglandular” placement) refers to placing implants on top of the chest muscle, called the pectoralis major muscle, and under the glandular breast tissue. This approach is usually recommended for women with a fair amount of natural breast tissue, as the tissue provides coverage and support for the implants. Adequate implant coverage is crucial to achieving a result that looks naturally enhanced, instead of artificially inflated.
Placing implants over the chest muscle is a slightly easier procedure with a slightly shorter recovery. Women who have implants placed over the muscle tend to have less post-operative discomfort because the chest muscle is not manipulated during surgery. Also, leaving the chest muscle intact means there is no risk of the implants visibly distorting when flexing the chest muscle during exercise or daily movements.
On the other hand, there is a slightly greater risk of rippling, or visible folds or wrinkles in the implant, with subglandular placement. This is more likely to occur in patients who are very thin or have little natural breast tissue.
Under the Muscle Placement
Placing implants under the chest muscle (a.k.a., “submuscular” placement) is a good alternative for women with little natural tissue, which is common among breast augmentation candidates. The chest muscle offers the coverage and support the implants need to achieve a natural-looking result.
When placing implants under the chest muscle, it is important to consider where the natural breasts sit in relation to the muscle. The muscle is located high on the chest, from the sternum to the shoulder. If the natural breasts have sagged (due to aging and/or breastfeeding) and fallen below the chest muscle, placing the implants under the muscle is usually not advisable, as it can cause the implants to look unnaturally high on the chest and slightly distorted. In that scenario, placing implants over the muscle is often preferable.
The procedure to place implants under the muscle is a little more involved and causes slightly more post-operative discomfort than subglandular placement. Another downside is the potential for animation deformity, which describes a distortion of the implants while contracting the chest muscle during exercise or some daily movements. The risk of animation deformity is small, but nevertheless a consideration.
To learn more about implant placement with the team at The Plastic Surgery Center, please contact us today and request a consultation.