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Breast Augmentation Essentials: Over or Under the Muscle

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Breast Augmentation Essentials: Over or Under the Muscle

When you are planning your breast augmentation, there are a lot of important decisions that must be made. One of these is the placement location for your implants. Your surgeon can insert your breast implants either behind or in front of your pectoral muscles. Each placement has pros and cons, but in most cases, under-the-muscle implant placement will usually be recommended.

Under-the-Muscle Implant Placement

Your surgeon may place your implants under (behind) your pectoral muscles. Under-the-muscle implant placement, also called submuscular or subpectoral placement, is often preferred by women who desire the best long-term results.

Reasons to Choose Under-the-Muscle Placement

  • More Natural Appearance: Placing the implants behind the chest muscles pushes more of the natural breast tissue outward. This creates a more naturally full look and shape.
  • Lower Risk of Complications: Certain complications, such as capsular contracture and bottoming out, are less likely to occur with under-the-muscle placement because the implants have better support from the chest muscle fascia. This placement is also unlikely to show noticeable implant rippling or cause damage to the breast ducts during surgery.
  • Less Mammogram Interference: Submuscular implants are significantly less likely to interfere with future mammogram readings.

Downsides of Under-the-Muscle Placement

  • Longer Recovery: In order to place the implants behind the chest muscles, more invasive techniques must be used. This increased trauma to the breast tissues usually leads to a longer recovery.

Over-the-Muscle Implant Placement

Your surgeon may place your implants over (in front of) your pectoral muscles. Over-the-muscle implant placement, also called subglandular or submammary placement, may be preferred by women who desire a shorter recovery or a more rounded or lifted breast appearance.

Reasons to Choose Over-the-Muscle Placement

  • Shorter Recovery: Over-the-muscle implant placement causes less trauma to the tissues of the breasts. This leads to a shorter recovery as the body can heal more quickly after the procedure.
  • Rounded, Lifted Appearance: Because subglandular implants are closer to the surface skin, they create more of a rounded, lifted appearance even without the surgeon using any breast lift techniques.

Downsides of Over-the-Muscle Placement

  • Less Natural Appearance: While natural-looking results are still possible, placing the implants directly beneath the breast tissue can result in a more unnaturally rounded appearance.
  • Mammogram Interference: Inserting the implants directly beneath the breast tissue can interfere with future mammogram readings.
  • Higher Risk of Complications: Capsular contracture, implant shifting (such as bottoming out), and visible implant rippling are more likely to occur with over-the-muscle implant placement.

Ultimately, under-the-muscle implant placement is usually preferred and most often recommended to breast augmentation patients. The difference in recovery length is generally minimal, and the long-term benefits and more natural appearance are usually preferred by most of our patients. Our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Mouchantat can guide you in making this decision as well as all other decisions related to your breast augmentation, so that you can feel sure you are making the best choices for the most ideal breast augmentation results.

Call (303) 232-8585 or contact us online to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mouchantat today.

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Dr. Mouchantat has been performing plastic surgery procedures in the Denver area since 1996. Some of these procedures include abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, liposuction, face lifts and eyelid surgery. Dr. Mouchantat is experienced in fat grafting techniques as well. Some procedures can be done comfortably in the office under local anesthesia, while others are done in an accredited outpatient surgical facility or hospital setting.

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