breast aug patient

Understanding Breast Implant Placement

Breast augmentation boasts a high patient satisfaction rate in large part because the procedure can be tailored to the unique desires and body proportions of each woman. With a variety of options in breast augmentation today, women can choose a look that is distinctly their own. Implant placement is one of the options that can make a difference in the overall outcome of your augmentation surgery. It is essential to understand the choices available so that you can select the best placement for your needs and desired results.

Over or Under?

The two primary placements for implants include over the pectoral (chest) muscle (subglandular) and under the chest muscle (submuscular). There is no definitive right or wrong in making this choice because placement will affect each woman differently. Instead, numerous factors must go into making this determination, based on a woman’s unique situation. It is critical to seek the services of an experienced cosmetic surgeon like Dr Ansari to ensure your implant placement provides you with optimal results.

Subglandular Placement Details

When an implant is placed in a subglandular position, it is located between the breast tissue and pectoral muscle. Until somewhat recently, this was the only placement option women had when they underwent breast augmentation. It continues to be the best choice for some women, although subglandular placement has both advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of subglandular placement include:

  • The procedure may be slightly more straightforward to perform
  • Recovery is often more comfortable with this technique
  • In some cases, larger implants may be used with this placement
  • This approach allows implants to be placed closer together, creating more cleavage
  • The implants do not create external distortion when the chest muscle flexes

This technique is a common choice for women that are physically active, particularly those that do a lot of strength training or even compete on the weight-lifting circuit. The difference in the appearance of the chest muscle when it is flexed can be significant enough to be the determining factor for women that fall into this category.

Subglandular placement also has a few drawbacks:

  • Because the skin is the sole support for the implant, stretch marks can form over time
  • The result of this placement can look more unnatural and more obviously augmented
  • Risks increased for both capsular contracture and “bottoming out” of the implant
  • Visible rippling is more likely with this placement, mainly when using saline implants
  • May make it more difficult to get accurate mammogram readings

If you want to opt for subglandular placement, Dr Ansari tends to prefer the round silicone implants that look more natural above the chest muscle. However, the variations are broad, as each woman is unique regarding size, shape and desired results.

Submuscular Placement Details

Submuscular placement refers to implants that are put underneath a portion of the pectoral muscle. Standard techniques require placement under the upper part of the muscle, leaving the lower portion of the implant exposed. Also known as partial submuscular placement, this option produces a natural slope to the upper breast and can improve minor sagging of the breast without the need for a lift procedure in some cases.

There are a few advantages in opting for submuscular placement of breast implants:

  • Additional coverage over the implant creates a more natural appearance
  • Because there is muscular support to the implant, skin is less apt to stretch or sag
  • Lower risk of capsular contracture or “bottoming out” of the implant
  • Edges of implants will not be visible in breast tissue
  • Less likely for visible rippling to form, regardless of implant type used

Submuscular placement is often recommended to women that have very little breast tissue of their own to cover the implant. In this case, a combination of the muscle and breast tissue will offer better coverage for a more natural result.

There are also some disadvantages associated with submuscular placement:

  • Recovery may be slightly longer and more uncomfortable
  • Muscle will distort when it is flexed
  • Implants tend to sit higher for a few weeks until they settle into their proper position
  • Limits the size of the implant that might be used

Submuscular placement may be the preferred choice for patients that want saline implants, since this option minimizes visible rippling. Some women may opt for this placement if they are concerned about their implants affecting future mammograms as well.

Making the Right Choice for You

When the time comes for you to determine where your implants will be placed, there are a variety of factors to consider:

  • The type of implant you choose – while silicone can work well with either placement, results with saline implants tend to be more positive with submuscular placement
  • The size of the implant, since larger implants may be restricted to subglandular placement
  • Your lifestyle – if you are very active or do serious strength training, subglandular placement is usually preferred
  • The amount of natural breast tissue you have, since women with less tissue will probably get better results with submuscular placement
  • Upper pole fullness – if you want more fullness and cleavage in the upper breast, subglandular placement is often advised

When going through the decision-making process in preparation for your breast augmentation surgery, the importance of working with an experienced surgeon cannot be underscored enough. This professional will be able to consider all these factors, as well as others, to ensure your breast enhancement is tailored to you. To learn more about your options in breast augmentation, schedule your consultation with Dr Ansari by contacting My Cosmetic Clinic on 1300 85 49 89.


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