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March 30, 2024

How to Decide on Breast Implant Placement

Written by: Dr. Dahlia Rice. Posted in: Blog

Breast Implant Placement

Breast implant placement refers to where the implant lies. Breast implants are generally placed in front of or behind the chest muscles. Below, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of each method of placement and how to make the best choice for your surgery.

Breast Implant Placement Options

There are two main types of breast implant placement. The option you choose will play a critical role in the results you achieve from surgery.

Submuscular Breast Implant Placement

With submuscular placement, your saline implants or silicone implants are placed beneath the pectoral muscles. This is usually more of an invasive surgery, so the recovery times are typically a bit longer when compared with subglandular placement. Still, there tends to be less of a risk for capsular contracture (hard, uncomfortable scar tissue formation), which patients like.What Is Submuscular Implant Placement

Because the implants are located deeper within the chest, there is little risk of the implants showing through the skin, and a low risk of wrinkling or rippling. Any imperfections or unevenness, then, is easily concealed as well. Many patients think this helps to achieve a more natural looking appearance.

Subglandular Breast Implant Placement

With subglandular placement, your saline implants or silicone implants are placed behind the glandular tissue in the breasts, but on top of the chest wall muscle (pectoral muscle). This option is generally thought to be less invasive, so it typically has a shorter recovery time.

The outcome can be very natural looking as well, especially when there is already a substantial amount of natural breast tissue to sit on top of each implant. On the other hand, if the patient does not have a lot of natural breast tissue of her own (and/or has thin skin or poor skin elasticity), it’s possible for the implant to show slightly through the breast skin. The muscles, conversely, can cover breast implants well.

What About Dual Plane Placement?

Another type of placement for breast implants is a dual plane implant placement. This means that the upper portion of the implant is placed beneath the chest muscle, but the lower portion of the implant sits directly behind the breast gland tissue and on top of the breast muscle.

Some plastic surgeons like this method of implant positioning because you can often get the best of both worlds. Frequently, patients achieve a fuller look to their breasts and get some lift, and the overall shape of the breasts tends to look very natural and smooth.

Patients can choose from a variety of breast implant sizes and shapes with this placement option as well, so it’s suitable for a lot of different individuals. Unfortunately, there is still a risk of rippling and wrinkling being visible, especially when patients don’t have adequate soft tissue coverage.

What About Subfascial Placement?

A fourth type of breast implant positioning is called subfascial placement. This puts the breast implants under the connective tissue that goes over your pectoral muscles — called the fascia. Some surgeons like this method because it allows some muscle contact while also achieving partial fascia coverage.

One of the benefits of muscle coverage over implants is that patients have a lowered risk of developing capsular contracture. This is also a benefit of subfascial implant placement. Patients always have to be concerned with conditions such as capsular contracture, breast implant illness, breast cancer, and other medical illnesses that may be linked to implants. So, this is a distinct benefit.

On the other hand, muscle movement can distort the appearance of the implants sometimes (when there is submuscular placement). So, with subfascial placement, you can also avoid this drawback.

This method of implant placement offers plenty of hold and support while allowing for more comfort, especially during the immediate post-operative period. Of course, a drawback is that if the patient doesn’t have a lot of good skin elasticity or breast tissue of their own, there is still a chance that rippling or wrinkling may show through because the implants will not be totally hidden beneath the muscles as with submuscular placement.

Which Implant Positioning Is Right for You?

Submuscular ImplantEvery breast implant patient is different, and it’s important to cater your surgery to your particular situation and goals instead of comparing your procedure to someone else’s.

Your plastic surgeon is the best person to help you decide what type of implant placement is best for you. Book a breast augmentation consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast implant surgery to learn more.

FAQ: Breast Implant Surgery

Does breast implant surgery hurt?

It’s normal to have some pain and soreness following breast implant surgery. Prescription pain medications can be prescribed to improve your overall comfort, and it’s also important to get a lot of rest as you heal from surgery.

How much is breast augmentation surgery?

The breast implant cost you are quoted at your consultation appointment will be based on your plastic surgeon’s particular fees, the location of your surgery, the type of implants you choose, whether or not you’re having additional procedures performed, the type of anesthesia required, and other factors.

Please schedule a consultation to learn more about costs associated with breast augmentation surgery.

How long is the incision for breast implants?

Implant incision length is typically 1 to 4 inches and depends on location and implant size/type. Larger pre-filled silicone implants often need larger incisions compared to saline-filled ones post-placement.

Book Your Consultation With Dr. Rice

Do you have more questions about the optimal implant placement for you?

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Dahlia Rice would be happy to respond to your questions and concerns at a personal consultation appointment. This is a great time to review breast implant recovery, go over breast implant before and after photos, and even talk about breast implant cost.

Please contact our Chicago practice today to schedule your consultation appointment with Dr. Rice.


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