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    Implant Placement Options: Over vs Under the Muscle

    Implant Placement Options: Over vs Under the Muscle | Atlanta SurgeryWhen considering breast implants for breast augmentation, one of the important decisions to make is where the implants will be placed in relation to the chest muscles. This decision, whether to go over or under the muscle, can have significant implications for the final result of the procedure. Understanding the differences between over vs under the muscle implant placement is crucial for patients looking to achieve their desired outcomes. Plastic surgeon Dr. Paul McCluskey provides breast augmentation surgery to patients in Atlanta, Marietta, Georgia, and surrounding locations.

    The Basics of Breast Implant Placement

    Breast implant placement is a critical factor in achieving the desired aesthetic and functional outcomes from breast augmentation surgery. Two primary methods define how implants are positioned in relation to the pectoral muscles: subglandular (over the muscle) and submuscular (under the muscle). The selection between these placements hinges on various considerations including the physical characteristics of the patient, the type and size of the implants, and the specific goals of the augmentation.

    In subglandular placement, the implant is situated between the breast tissue and the chest muscle. This approach may be favored for its simplicity and the potential for a less complicated recovery. Conversely, submuscular placement involves positioning the implant beneath the chest muscle. This technique is often chosen for its ability to lend a more natural contour and diminish the visibility of the implant edges, particularly in patients with less natural breast tissue.

    The decision-making process also weighs factors such as the thickness of the patient’s breast tissue, the desired final breast size, and considerations regarding future mammography screenings. Each placement option presents distinct advantages that cater to different aesthetic preferences and lifestyles. The surgeon’s expertise in evaluating these variables plays a pivotal role in guiding the patient towards the most appropriate choice for their unique situation.

    Engaging in a thorough discussion about these options is indispensable for setting realistic expectations and ensuring satisfaction with the outcome of the breast augmentation procedure. This foundational understanding of implant placement options empowers patients to make informed decisions in collaboration with their surgeons.

    Benefits of Going Under the Muscle

    Opting for submuscular placement, where breast implants are positioned beneath the pectoral muscle, brings forth several aesthetic and health-related advantages. This method allows for a layer of muscle to overlay the implant, contributing to a more seamless and natural integration with the body’s contour. Such placement is particularly beneficial in creating a gradual slope of the breast profile, which mimics the natural shape more closely than subglandular options.

    The under-the-muscle approach significantly mitigates the risk of visible implant edges, a common concern among patients, by providing an additional layer that conceals the implant more effectively. This is especially important for individuals with thinner breast tissue, where the implant outline might be more pronounced if placed above the muscle. Additionally, this method has been associated with a lower incidence of capsular contracture, a condition where scar tissue around the implant tightens, causing discomfort and aesthetic issues. The placement beneath the muscle allows for a more dynamic interaction with the body’s movements, potentially contributing to a reduced risk of this complication.

    Another compelling benefit includes the potential for improved outcomes in mammography screenings. The clear delineation between breast tissue and the implant can facilitate more accurate imaging results, crucial for ongoing breast health monitoring. By choosing the submuscular placement, patients are afforded a combination of benefits that support not only the immediate aesthetic goals of breast augmentation but also long-term health and satisfaction.

    Why Some Choose Over the Muscle

    Choosing subglandular, or over the muscle placement for breast implants, caters to specific aesthetic preferences and physical considerations unique to each patient. This approach is particularly appealing for those seeking a shorter and more comfortable post-surgery recovery period. Without the need to manipulate the pectoral muscles during surgery, patients typically experience less discomfort and a quicker return to daily activities. For individuals with a substantial amount of natural breast tissue, this method offers an advantage by utilizing the existing tissue to naturally conceal the implants, potentially eliminating the concern for visible implant outlines.

    Furthermore, over the muscle placement may be favored by patients aiming for a more pronounced or specific breast shape that aligns with their aesthetic vision. This method can offer a distinct look that some find preferable, depending on personal goals for breast augmentation. In certain cases, women who are actively involved in bodybuilding or specific athletic disciplines might consider this option to avoid any potential interference with muscle function that could arise from submuscular implant placement.

    It is also pertinent for individuals who prioritize a straightforward surgical procedure with a focus on achieving a desired aesthetic outcome with potentially fewer restrictions during the recovery phase. Each patient’s body type, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals play a significant role in this decision, highlighting the importance of a personalized approach in the selection process for implant placement.

    Considerations for Athletes and Physically Active Individuals

    For athletes and those leading a physically active lifestyle, the decision on implant placement holds particular significance, given its potential impact on physical performance and overall comfort during activities. The choice between submuscular (under the muscle) and subglandular (over the muscle) placements can influence factors such as the stability of the implant during vigorous movements, the risk of implant shifting, and the aesthetic appearance during muscle flexion.

    Submuscular placement may offer enhanced support, potentially safeguarding the implant from movement or distortion that could occur during high-impact activities. This consideration is crucial for individuals who engage in sports or exercises that involve significant chest muscle usage. The added layer of muscle over the implant can also contribute to a more natural appearance, which might be an important factor for athletes concerned about maintaining a proportional body aesthetic in athletic wear.

    Conversely, subglandular placement might be preferred by some athletes due to the less invasive nature of the procedure concerning the chest muscles. This option could lead to a quicker recovery time, allowing a return to physical activities sooner than with submuscular placement. Additionally, for athletes in disciplines where chest muscle integrity and function are paramount, avoiding disruption of the muscular structure could be a deciding factor.

    Engaging in a detailed discussion with a plastic surgeon about the specific nature of one’s athletic activities, the intensity of physical exercise, and any performance goals is essential. This dialogue ensures that the chosen implant placement aligns with both aesthetic desires and the practical demands of the athlete’s lifestyle, supporting optimal outcomes in both appearance and physical function.

    The Impact on Sensation and Breastfeeding

    One of the nuanced factors to consider in the selection of implant placement is its potential effect on sensation and breastfeeding capabilities. The positioning of implants beneath the muscle (submuscular) is thought to minimize disruption to breast tissue and the nerves that are critical for sensation. This careful placement can help in preserving the sensitivity of the nipple area, a concern for many patients contemplating augmentation. In terms of breastfeeding, submuscular placement is often recommended as it is less likely to interfere with lactation ducts and glands. This is because the implant is placed behind the muscle, leaving the breast tissue largely undisturbed, which is a vital consideration for individuals planning to breastfeed in the future.

    Conversely, subglandular placement (over the muscle) positions the implant directly behind the breast tissue and in front of the muscle, which could potentially affect breast functionality more significantly. While modern surgical techniques strive to mitigate these risks regardless of placement, understanding the implications of each method on such sensitive aspects of breast function is crucial. It is advisable for individuals to deliberate these considerations thoroughly with their surgeon, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of how implant placement might influence both physical sensation and the practical aspects of breastfeeding. This knowledge allows patients to align their procedural choices more closely with their lifestyle and long-term well-being.

    Making the Decision with Your Surgeon

    Choosing the right implant placement—over or under the muscle—is a nuanced decision that necessitates a personalized consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. During this critical dialogue, your surgeon will conduct a thorough assessment of your body’s unique contours, your aesthetic aspirations, and any health considerations that could influence the outcome of your breast augmentation. This is a time for open communication, where every question and concern you have should be brought to the table. Your surgeon’s expertise is invaluable in navigating the complexities of implant placement, ensuring the chosen path aligns with your vision for your body while taking into account the long-term implications for your health and satisfaction. Trust in this collaborative process is essential to achieving the results you desire, guided by professional advice tailored specifically to you.

    Contact Marietta, Georgia Plastic Surgeon Dr. Paul McCluskey at the Plastic Surgery Institute of Atlanta for a Consultation

    For more information on procedures and treatments offered by Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Paul McCluskey and the Plastic Surgery Institute of Atlanta, visit:

    Serving patients in and around Marietta, Atlanta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Morningside/Lenox Park, Virginia-Highland, Candler Park, Midtown, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, Ormewood Park, Georgia and other surrounding areas.