The decision to have breast augmentation is a highly personal one that involves a series of additional decisions to customize treatment to a patient’s specific desires and body type. In addition to choosing the size and shape of your breast implant, you and your surgeon will need to determine the best placement for your implants. This is typically done over the pectoral muscle or under the muscle, with pros and cons for both options.
Implant Placement over the Muscle
When the breast implant is placed over the pectoral muscle, it is positioned directly between the muscle and the breast tissue. Known as sub-glandular placement, this method was used most frequently when breast augmentation first became regular practice. The method is still used in specific circumstances where placement under the muscle may not be practical or desirable.
Benefits of sub-glandular placement include:
- Easier surgical technique
- Less discomfort during recovery
- Easier to use larger implants
- Less movement when pectoral muscle is flexed
The final benefit makes the sub-glandular placement particularly attractive for female body builders. However, disadvantages like a higher risk of rippling and capsular contracture, as well as possible interference with mammography, make this placement a much less viable option for the majority of breast augmentation patients today.
Implant Placement under Muscle
Sub-pectoral placement, placing the implant underneath the pectoral muscle, is the preferred method for most breast augmentation procedures today. This technique usually offers a more natural result, without implant edges seen or felt on the outside of the breast. Sub-pectoral placement is particularly recommended for women with very small breasts and little breast tissue, for this very reason.
Consider these benefits of sub-pectoral placement:
- More natural look and feel
- Significantly lower risk of capsular contracture or breast rippling
- Less interference with mammography screenings
Breast may have additional support as the attachments to the underlying pectoralis muscle have not been violated, leading to less sagging over time
The primary drawback to sub-pectoral placement is additional muscle discomfort during the recovery process. However, most patients find the trade-off acceptable when they experience the natural results this technique offers.
The key to a successful breast augmentation with a sub-pectoral placement is finding a surgeon experienced in the technique. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Scottsdale, Dr. Geoffrey Leber has performed hundreds of breast augmentation procedures at his Scottsdale office and prefers the sub-pectoral placement for the majority of his patients. If you are unhappy with the size or shape of your breasts, contact Dr. Leber’s staff at 480-945-5522 to schedule your personal consultation.