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What Are the Best Implant Positions for Breast Augmentation?

When you’re having breast augmentation with implants, expect to have numerous discussions with your surgeon about what size, fillings, textures, placements, and incision types will be most suitable for you depending on many factors. Your anatomy, body shape, lifestyle, and aesthetic taste will all be taken into account when making these decisions. Although most people prioritize getting the size and shape right, the position of your implants and the way they are held in place is perhaps something that most patients don’t think too deeply about before having the surgery. Implant placement can affect how you feel during recovery, how your implants look once you’ve healed, and other aspects of your post-procedural appearance, so it’s important to bring this up with your cosmetic surgeon. At our St. Louis-based practice, two implant placement options are available: above the chest muscle and below the chest muscle. Unsure about which one is best for you? See below for a basic comparison between the two options.

  • Above the Muscle/Subglandular Placement

With this technique, the implant capsule is made in the area directly beneath the existing breast tissues, but on top of the chest muscle. Recovery is usually easier after having this implant placement, as there is less discomfort. It also makes the implants look very natural for patients who already have a moderate amount of breast tissue, since the implants move around less during physical exercise. On the downside, there’s a higher risk of capsular contracture and rippling when this placement is used on thinner women, because there is generally less “padding” covering the implant itself.

  • Below the Muscle/Submuscular Placement

For this placement, the pectoralis major chest muscle covers or partially covers the breast implant. This placement might be better for slender women with less breast tissue. It makes the implants look more natural as the muscle hides the more obvious signs that a device is present. Capsular contracture is less likely, and mammograms are more accurate. On the other hand, recovery is longer and more uncomfortable.

Planning on having a breast augmentation? You don’t have to make detailed decisions about placement on your own. Talk to a surgeon at our West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University office to learn more about the unique benefits of different implant placements and find the one that’s best for you. Give us a call at (314) 996-8800, or submit a contact form to request a consultation.