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What Are the Advantages of Submuscular Breast Augmentation?
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For decades, breast augmentation has been among the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures and for several reasons. Just in 2019, around 300,000 women in the United States underwent this procedure.
When deciding to undergo breast augmentation, there are quite a few decisions that need to be made to help you realize the result you desire. One of these important choices is where to place the breast implants—in front of the chest wall muscle (subglandular/pre-pectoral) or behind the chest wall muscle (submuscular/subpectoral).
Exactly What Is the Difference Between Submuscular and Subglandular?
Subglandular placement is when the implant is positioned between the breast tissue and the pectoralis major muscle. The submuscular position is where a significant part of the breast implant is situated behind the pectoralis major (which is deep in the breast tissue). This latter choice is still the “preferred” and most popularly selected option.
Why Should You Choose the Submuscular Placement?
Many plastic surgeons agree that the submuscular position is generally the superior option most of the time due to its advantages. These include:
- The breasts can look and feel more natural since the skin and breast tissue (which can be very limited on their own) and the muscle cover the implant. There is a lower risk of visible rippling of the skin, and the ability to “feel” the implant contours is markedly diminished. The undesirable “bolted-on” look, commonly seen with large implants placed in the subglandular position, is rare with the submuscular placement.
- The pectoralis major muscle takes some stress off the skin, reducing its stretching and thinning over time.
- There may be a lower risk of developing capsular contracture (encapsulation or hardness)—though, with technological and procedural changes over time, this may no longer be true.
- The risks associated with a simultaneously performed breast lift may be reduced due to less disruption and impairment of blood supply, especially to the nipple.
- The reading and interpretation of mammograms in the screening for breast cancer is typically easier and more accurate—an important advantage.
What Are the Downsides of Submuscular Placement?
Despite the many benefits of submuscular breast implant placement, there are some negatives. These may include:
- The initial postoperative discomfort is greater than that experienced with the submammary placement. This is because the pectoralis muscle is being stretched out by the implant placed behind it rather than just skin.
- The full recovery period is generally a little longer due to the stretching effects on the muscle.
- When the pectoralis muscle contracts, it squeezes on the underlying implant, effecting a change in its shape. This translates into a dynamic change in the appearance of the breasts known as “animation deformity.” At times and in certain situations, this can be fairly obvious to observe—and possibly embarrassing.
Which Will It be for You—Submuscular or Submammary Breast Augmentation?
When you visit our office, Dr. Turkeltaub, who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, will explain each breast augmentation option and recommend the right one for you based on your goals. He has the requisite knowledge and experience in all procedures, having helped thousands of women perfect their looks.
Dr. Turkeltaub clearly understands his patients’ desires and offers recommendations that best serve them.
Interested in Learning More?
To schedule your plastic surgery consultation with the Arizona Center of Breast Surgery, please call 480-451-3000 or fill out our online contact form today.