Breast Implant Placement

Prior to a breast augmentation, you’ll meet with Dr. Ortiz, our board-certified plastic surgeon in Raleigh, to discuss the procedure. During this consultation, you’ll discuss your current concerns with your breasts as well as your goals for how you want to look following the procedure. In addition to this, Dr. Ortiz will explain the options for the best incision placement to minimize scarring while getting you the best results as well as choosing which implant shape is right for how you want your breasts to look following the procedure. Additionally, breast implant placement can be subglandular or submuscular, and Dr. Ortiz will discuss with you which option is best for your recovery, short-term appearance, and long-term appearance.

Understanding How Breast Implants Are Placed

Just under the skin of the breast, a woman has adipose tissue and mammary ducts. Beneath that layer is a layer of pectoralis major muscle. During a breast augmentation, a small incision is made, usually, in the crease under the breast, around the nipple, or in the armpit, and the implant can be inserted in one of two locations:

  • Submuscular – Beneath the pectoralis major muscle
  • Subglandular – Under the mammary ducts and over top of the pectoralis major muscle.

Submuscular Breast Implant Placement

Submuscular (also known as Subpectoral) implant placement is somewhat misleading. The fan-shaped muscle is detached from bottom along the ribs, and the implant is placed underneath. However, the pectoralis major is a short muscle, and a submuscular implant placement only covers the top half of the implant. The bottom part of the implant is only covered by breast tissue.

Benefits of Submuscular/Subpectoral Breast ImplantsBreast Implant Placement Options

  • This method allows for a smoother shape with more tissue coverage, so the result is more natural.
  • The implant is more “out of the way” so mammograms are more accurate.
  • Lower rate of capsular contracture – the formation of a small capsule of scar tissue that can lead to a hard looking breast which can become misshapen and sometimes painful.

Drawbacks to Submuscular/Subpectoral Breast Implants

  • Because there are incisions to the muscle, recovery can take a bit longer and be more uncomfortable.
  • Swelling takes longer to subside, meaning it takes longer for the breasts to “settle” into their natural placement and shape.
  • A very low chance of an indentation forming over the implant where it meets the edge of the muscle.
  • Animation deformity when the muscle moves, moving the implant, and breast tissue.

Subglandular Breast Implants

Breast implants can also be placed over top of the pectoralis major and below the mammary glands, and this placement is referred to as subglandular or “over-the-muscle.”

Benefits of Subglandular Breast Implants

  • Because the muscle is undisturbed, recovery is more comfortable and often quicker.
  • Swelling subsides more quickly and the “final result” is reached more quickly.
  • There is no animation deformity.
  • For women with more existing breast tissue, the end result tends to be very natural looking.

Drawbacks to Subglandular Breast Implants

  • This placement has a smaller increased chance of capsular contracture.
  • There is an increased chance of visible rippling, particularly in women with less breast tissue to start with.
  • In some women, the appearance is less natural if the skin and breast tissue is of poor quality.

Factors Affecting Breast Implant Placement

Without sitting down with Dr. Ortiz during a consultation, you won’t know which placement is right for you, but some factors that help determine the right option include:

  • Your body type and existing breast tissue;
  • The size and shape of the implants chosen;
  • Your goals for the final results of how you want your breasts to look;

Dr. Ortiz has completed hundreds of breast augmentation procedures and will be able to determine the best option to get the best results both in the short term and long term.

Schedule a Consultation for Breast Augmentation in Raleigh Today

If you are ready to feel confident in the body of your dreams, we are here to help! Dr. Ortiz is dedicated to empowering patients by providing in-depth consultations where he will answer your questions, address concerns, and will provide personalized guidance and insight to help you make the right decisions. To schedule your personalized consultation, give us a call at 919-532-2270 or complete our contact form below.