Under the Muscle vs. Over the Muscle
Breast implants can be placed either above or below the pectoralis major muscle.
Your breast shape and lifestyle may dictate which implant position is best for you, but 99% of the time, placement under the muscle is preferred.
Submuscular or Subpectoral
The implant is placed below both the pectoralis major muscle and the overlying breast tissue.
- slightly more discomfort in the first few days after surgery due to muscle spasm
- less risk of implant visibility and palpability
- more natural look and feel
- decreased risk of hardened scar tissue around the implant (Capsular Contracture)
- less interference with future mammography
The implant is placed directly behind the breast tissue and on top of the pectoralis major muscle
- increased risk of the implant being visible or palpable under the skin
- high risk of bottoming out or stretching of the breast skin due to the weight of the implant
- much higher risk of capsular contracture
- more interference with future mammography
- slightly shorter recovery time
Dr. Reid and Dr. Gordon want to minimize your chances of having any complications with your implants, so their recommendations are based on years of experience and clinical data. Long-term studies in the literature demonstrate that submuscular placement of breast implants has a much lower incidence of capsular contracture. The risk of Capsular Contracture is inherent to breast implants and is one of the most challenging issues to treat, so it’s imperative to minimize your risk before, during and after surgery. In addition, placing the implant under the muscle also helps to camouflage it and gives a soft, natural look and feel to the breast after surgery. Dr. Reid or Dr. Gordon will discuss this in more detail during your consultation. In rare situations, they may recommend that your implants be placed above the muscle. This is often the best option for bodybuilders, who may not want an implant below the muscle, because flexing the muscle can distort the breasts. This is known as animation deformity.