Partial Submuscular Breast Implant Placement

If you are worried about how your breasts will appear after breast augmentation surgery, then it is important to talk to your plastic surgeon about breast implant placement. Partial submuscular placement is just one type, and there are advantages and disadvantages.

About Partial Submuscular Implant Placement

Partial Submuscular - The top 2/3 of the breast implant is covered by the pectoralis muscle.


When discussing under the muscle placement with your surgeon, make sure he or she clarifies either PARTIAL or COMPLETE sub-muscular placement. Many surgeons will just say "under the muscle" or "over the muscle", so you have to ask to be certain of which under the muscle placement they're referring to.

Pros of Partial Submuscular Breast Implant Placement

  • Decreased risk of visible and palpable ripples and implant edges, except for the lower third portion of the implant, which is not covered by the muscle/fascia.
  • Decreased risk of capsular contracture.
  • Most of the time, a more natural shape to the upper portion of the breast is achieved. In general, there is a more natural slope to the breast, instead of the "upper roundness" that is can be more common with over the muscle implants. This is a good thing, if this is the look you desire.
  • This placement allows for better views during mammograms.


Cons of Partial Submuscular Breast Implant Placement

  • More post-op discomfort, and longer recovery period. This is due to the procedure being more invasive, as well as the muscles stretching out to accommodate the implant.
  • The implants take longer to "drop" or "settle" into the pocket.
  • The breast implant may appear to be distorted while flexing the chest muscles.
  • The implants are supported by the same tissues (skin) as over the muscle implants, which means less lower pole support (compared to implants placed completely behind the muscle/fascia), which can possibly lead to bottoming out, although bottoming out is possible with any placement.
  • Ripples (wrinkling of the breast implant shell) may been seen and/or felt along the lower and outer 1/3 of the implant (the part which is only covered by the breast tissue). However, ripples are possible with the implants placed completely under the muscle, as well.

Reviewed By Gerald Minniti. M.D., F.A.C.S

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