Are There Different Breast Implant Placement Options?


If you’re considering breast augmentation, you’ve probably researched different types of implants, and started thinking about the size you want.

But did you know that there are different breast implant placement options too? (Great! Another thing to think about!)

This is a good thing, though. To get the most natural look for your breast implants, the last thing you want is a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Especially when it comes to the procedure.

What Are the Breast implant Placement Options?

You don’t need to stress too much. Fortunately, there are only two options. The breast implant is placed under your breast tissue and over your chest muscles, or under the breast tissue and partially under the pectoralis major.

Both provide great results and which one is right for you will come down to a number of factors that you’ll discuss thoroughly with your board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will provide you with the choice that will deliver the best aesthetic results.

For the sake of understanding the difference between the two, here’s how they compare:

Over the Muscle

Also referred to as sub glandular placement, the over the muscle option involves placing the implants on top of the pectoralis major muscle but under the glandular breast tissue.

Because this option produces a lifted appearance, it’s often recommended to patients whose breasts tend to sag from having a larger amount of natural breast tissue. The tissue offers support and coverage for the implants. Without proper coverage, the implant can take on the appearance of being artificially inflated.

Another benefit of sub glandular placement is the ability of the implant to move with the breasts over the years as they go through changes. This gives them a more natural appearance for many years. In addition, over the muscle placement is a slightly easier procedure and requires a little less recovery time. Since the chest muscle isn’t altered, there’s no risk of the implants visibly distorting during exercise of daily movements.

That said, there IS a slightly increased possibility of visible folds or rippling with this sort of placement. Especially for patients with less natural breast tissue. In addition, subgladular implants tend to interfere more with mammogram readings and may result in the patient having to incorporate ultrasounds or other modalities.

Under the Muscle

Not to be confused with the term sub glandular, the sub muscular (under the muscle) procedure is a bit more involved. In this case, the implant is placed under the skin, fat, glands, AND the pectoralis major.

Yet, it’s also placed on top of the inner pectoralis minor and serratus muscles. Doing it this way allows for the pectoralis major muscle to cover the top and side of the implant while the natural breast tissue covers the bottom and outer edge. This creates a smoother and more natural looking transition from the chest to the implant.

Sub muscular implants interfere less with mammogram readings and they have a lower incidence of capsular contracture.

Even so, the more complicated nature of the procedure means there is usually a slightly longer surgery time and recovery period. This is because the surgeon has to cut and detach the pectoralis major muscle. There’s also an increased chance of the implants becoming distorted when the chest contracts, and/or migrating upward toward the armpit. Patients usually experience diminished strength in the chest muscles after this surgery as well.

So your plastic surgeon will carefully consider whether this placement option is your best bet.

Are Breast Implants Right For You?

When it comes to choosing between the two breast implant placement options, you can take heart in knowing that you’ll never be alone in that decision.

Contact us today to set up your free consultation and get started.

After an examination, your surgeon will discuss your goals and expectations with you. From there, the two of you will decide which option is right for you.