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Why the Placement of Your Breast Implants Matter

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Breast augmentation surgery is one of the most popular and satisfying plastic surgery procedures for women. In 2020, it was the fifth most-performed cosmetic procedure

Close up of woman with postoperative bandages over large breasts.

While most women only think about the size and shape of breast implants, other decisions must be made before surgery to obtain the desired results. 

One of the most important of these decisions is the placement of breast implants.

What Are My Breast Implant Placement Options?

Breast implants can be placed above the pectoralis muscle (submammary or subglandular placement) or below the muscle (subpectoral or submuscular placement). 

While both placement locations can offer stunning results, these placement options offer differences in the look, feel, functionality and even durability of the results. 

What Are the Benefits of a Subpectoral Implant Placement?

For many women, subpectoral implant placement (where the implants are situated deep into the pectoralis muscles) is the best option. 

This is Dr. Turkeltaub’s preferred placement option most of the time. 

Here are five advantages of this location:

1. Better Coverage 

Because the breast implant is situated deep in the muscle, there is better coverage of the implant’s shell; that is, there is more tissue overlying the implant. This lowers the risk of visible rippling and tactile implant concerns with the breast implant, particularly when there is little natural tissue. 

2. Natural Appearance 

When the breast implant is placed beneath the muscle, you can expect a more natural appearance with your larger and fuller breasts. Not only is your skin and breast tissue covering (and hiding) the implant, but the muscle is also protecting the implant, which allows for the implant to move in concert with the tissue and muscle. 

3. Better Support 

As mentioned above, when the implant is located beneath the muscle, there is added tissue coverage, which can lead to a more natural appearance and feel. This added coverage also increases the amount of support that the implant has from the skin, tissue, and muscle, resulting in less skin stretching over time. 

This is especially important for women who choose large breast implants.

4. Easier to Interpret Mammograms 

Mammograms are extremely important for women, and anything that can facilitate a more accurate reading is important. Generally, breast implants that are placed behind the muscle allow for an easier and more accurate interpretation than those placed above the muscle. 

5. Lower Risk of Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue hardens and tightens around the implant. This can cause pain and distortion to the implant and breast, which you can see and feel. 

While capsular contracture is one of the most common complications with breast augmentation, the chances of occurrence are reduced when the implant is placed beneath the muscle. 

What About Submammary Implant Placement? 

While submuscular placement has its many advantages, there are women who choose to have their implants placed above the pectoral muscle. 

Some of the reasons for a submammary placement of breast implants include:

1. Easier Procedure 

It is an easier, less technical and less “invasive” procedure to place the implants in a submammary pocket

2. Quicker Recovery 

In the submammary pocket, there is a quicker postoperative recovery with less tightness and discomfort as compared to the submuscular approach since the muscle is not directly stretched and manipulated.

3. No Animation Deformity 

Because the implants are above the muscle and are not being compressed by the muscle, there is no animation deformity as seen with the submuscular location when the pectoralis muscle is contracting. This is an advantage especially for bodybuilders and weightlifters.

Contact the Arizona Center for Breast Surgery to Learn More

If you have any questions about breast enhancement surgery, including which implant placement location is best for you, please feel free to contact Dr. Steven H. Turkeltaub by calling us at (480) 451-3000 or by using our online form.