Breast Augmentation Over Vs Under Muscle?
Breast augmentation is the most popular choice among cosmetic procedures in the U.S. to achieve the desired shape and size of breasts.
Many types of implants are used in breast augmentation, including regular and structured saline, silicone gel, gummy bear silicone, smooth and textured breast implants. While saline implants are filled with sterile salt water and are filled at the time of surgery to the desired volume, silicone gel comes in pre-filled form. Structured saline implants combine the sturdiness of silicone gel with the safety of saline by adding extra layers of hard shells to prevent breakage.
When you decide to undergo breast augmentation, there are a number of decisions that need to be made.
- The size of the implant
- The type of implant
- Placing the implant over vs. under the muscle
- Incision location
Dr. Christopher Chang, being the leading plastic surgeon and expert in breast augmentation, can help you decide the best options for you.
Over versus under the muscle placement
The implant can be placed under or over the muscle during the procedure of breast augmentation.
There are many factors to consider while choosing the kind of placement for each patient. These include medical history, current health status, the type of implant chosen, size of the implant, and the body type of the patient.
Dr. Chang, being an experienced surgeon can give the best advice on the placement of the implant.
Over the muscle
Also called the ‘Sub-glandular technique’, the ‘over the muscle’ placement positions the implant between the chest muscle and breast tissue. This kind of placement is below the glands of the breast that makes it possible to breastfeed as well.
The advantages of this placement are:
- This is a less invasive technique and relatively easier to perform
- There is reduced recovery time
- Less discomfort after the procedure as the muscle is not disturbed
- As the implants are closely placed, this technique enables the creation of more cleavage
- Larger sized implants can be used in this technique depending on the characteristics of the soft tissue
- There is no risk of implants distortion with the flexing of pectoral muscles
Under the muscle
‘Under the muscle’ technique is also referred to as the sub-muscular placement. This procedure involves placing the implant under the chest muscle called the pectoralis major.
The under the muscle placement has the following advantages:
- More natural shape as the implants get covered by the pectoral muscle and the breast tissue
- Minimal risk of rippling which is the appearance of visible wrinkles or lines through the skin
- Extra support from the muscle that reduces the wearing against the skin
- Minimal risk of capsular contracture
- Reduced distortion on mammograms
- A better choice for those patients who also seek breast lift as this technique promotes better flow of blood to the nipple
The sub-muscular technique is seen to be more invasive and since it involves the muscle, the recovery time may be longer. There is also the risk of increased discomfort post the procedure. It is also possible for the implants to become distorted when the chest muscle is flexed.