In recent years Breast implants have gained a lot of popularity. Thanks to the skill of surgeons and the popularity of curvy body types, more and more people are transforming their bodies with plastic surgery. When it comes to breast implants there is a lot of debate on whether an implant should be placed over the muscle, dual plane, or under the muscle.
There are multiple factors that play a role in determining the placement of the implant. Some of the most common factors include the patient’s body type, overall health, type and size of implants. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your particular base to determine the best implant placement for you. However, as someone who is interested in getting implants, you must be aware of the pros and cons associated with each placement, technique. Let’s look into each of the techniques:
‘Over The Muscle’ Placement – Sub-Glandular Breast Implant Placement
This technique involves the placement of an implant between the chest muscle and breast tissue. This type of implant restricts women from breastfeeding in the future as the implant resides below the breast glands.
Pros of the SUB-GLANDULAR placement
- Surgery is less invasive when compared to other techniques
- The patient recovers quickly when compared to other placement types
- Typically, the post-operative discomfort is greatly minimized
- It gives you a better cleavage as implants are placed close together
- Patients can opt for a larger breast size
- Implants are not distorted with the flexing of chest muscles
Cons of SUB-GLANDULAR placement
- They give a less natural look as compared to other techniques. This can be a pro or con depending on the look you are going for.
- Such implants are supported by skin which can cause stretch marks in the future.
- Your breasts are more susceptible to visible ripping of the implants.
- They can interfere with the mammograms
- There is an increased risk of bottoming out as well as capsule contracture
- There is more chance of loss of sensation in nipples as this technique might restrict blood flow to the nipple.
‘Under The Muscle’ Placement – Submuscular Breast Implant Placement
This technique involves placing the implant under your chest muscle.
Pros of Submuscular
- They give a very natural look and nobody can tell the difference between real and implant boobs
- The risk of ripped implants is greatly reduced
- Patients don’t face problems stretch marks as the implants are not supported by the skin entirely
- Submuscular placement greatly reduce the risk of capsular contracture development
- They don’t interfere much with mammograms which is great for your health
- It is a great option for those who might be interested in getting a breast lift after the procedure
Cons of Submuscular
- It is definitely considered as a more invasive technique as compared to over the muscle placement
- Recovery period is longer and involves more discomfort
- Your breasts will appear a bit higher for the first few months after the surgery
- There is a higher chance of implant distortion as the muscles with the flexing of pectoral muscles
- Such implants might not be suitable for all body types.
Dual Plane Breast Implant Placement – is it the best of both?
A dual-plane seems like a perfect compromise between the two. This approach separates the breast tissue from pectoral muscles while keeping the implant in a submuscular position.
Pros of Dual Plane
- Dual plane gives you a more natural-looking appearance
- Dual plane implants greatly minimize the risk of visible ripping
- The risk associated with capsular contracture is greatly minimized with this technique
- It greatly improves the breast asymmetry and makes your boobs appear more proportionate
- The technique delivers more long-lasting and reliable results for people
Cons of Dual Plane
- It can cause more pain in the earlier stages of recovery
- The risk of animation deformity is relatively higher as compared to other types of implants
- It is a very rare side effects and happens to very patients but implants can move while exercising the pectoral muscles.
Download Dr Briggs’s Ultimate Guide to Implant Remove and Replace Guide
Who is the Right Candidate for the Over / Under / Dual plane Breast Implant Placement?
The only sure way to determine whether you should go over, under or dual plane implants is by visiting a surgeon. The technique chosen depends on your aesthetic goals, breast tissue and overall body physiology.
For instance, dual-plane implants are generally recommended for women who have mild sagging, would like more volume at the bottom of the breasts and have deflated boobs. On the other hand, submuscular implants are ideal for women who plan to breastfeed after the surgery. Some patients like very barbie-esk looking implants. In such cases, over the muscle, implants work best.
The final implant placement decision can only be made by your surgeon and you should trust his or her skill and advice.
Implant Placement FAQs – Questions about Implant Location
Is it better to go under or over the muscle?
- Both techniques work great and choosing one over the other entirely depends on your aesthetic goals and your body type. You should book a consultation to find out.
Do implants under the muscle look smaller?
- Well, they don’t look smaller but definitely give you a more natural look instead of; ‘hey, I just got my boobs done.’ Most people prefer natural-looking implant but if you love over the top, more prominent look, then going over the muscle is a better option.
How do you tell if implants are under the muscle?
- You can go for this simple test to make sure whether your plants should be placed under or over your muscle.
- Place your hands on your hips and press inwards. Now, look at your breasts. If the top of your breast has flattened, the implant is placed behind your muscle. If the top of your breast doesn’t go flat, implants are placed over the muscle.
Can over the muscle implants look natural?
- Well, it depends on your body type. Some women don’t have enough body composition required to make an over the muscle implant look natural. Going for silicone implants can create a relatively more natural look.
How many cc do you lose under the muscle?
- Well, typically patients can lose anywhere between 30 to 50 cc going under the muscle. Surgeons usually recommend going a size up to make up for this difference and giving you the desired look and size you want.
How painful is breast implants under the muscle?
- Well, there is no denying the fact that placing an implant under the muscle will be more painful than going over the muscle. This is due to the incision made inside the muscle. However, the pain will subside within 3 to 7 days after the surgery. Don’t freak out as your surgeon will give you a handful of pain killers to keep the pain in control.
How long do breast implants under the muscle last?
- Well, the implants can last you anywhere between 10 to 20 years regardless of where they are placed. Longevity has nothing to do with the placement of the implant.
Will under the muscle implants get bigger?
- Initially, your breasts will be swollen so you won’t be able to make out the actual look. However, once the swelling goes down and your implants settle in, implants will drop out to give you a nicer projection.
Will my implants look bigger if I lose weight?
- Breast implants will not get any bigger or small if you lose weight. However, they might appear to look bigger in comparison to a smaller body. In actuality, they will remain the same. Your body proportions will change.
What implants look the most natural?
- Silicone implants definitely produce the most natural-looking and feeling results. They definitely cost more than saline implants but are worth every single penny. Moreover, dual-plane and under the muscle technique also gives your breasts a more natural look.
Why do my implants look so small?
- If you feel that your breast implants are looking small, it can be due to several factors. When your swelling goes down, you might feel that implants are looking smaller. On the other hand, the cup size cannot be fully predicted. So, some patients might feel that their breasts look smaller than they expected.
Can you go bigger after breast augmentation?
- Yes, you can definitely go bigger once your breast implants have settled down. You can always discuss the possibility of going bigger with your surgeon during your initial consultation so that the surgeon can guide you properly.
How soon can I get bigger implants?
- It is advised to wait for a period of six to twelve months before you decide to go bigger with the implants. The final word will only be given by your breast implant surgeon. Do not hurry and allow your body to heal before you decide to go bigger.
How can I make my implants look natural?
- Simply tell your surgeon about your preference and he/she will guide you through the process of natural-looking implants. The right surgeon will make sure you get natural-looking results if that’s what you desire. Plus, choose an implant that looks proportionate to the rest of your body. If you go too big, they will look unnatural. The right Implant Placement can make your implants look more natural.
Considerations Before Choosing a Breast Implant Technique
Here are the Four things that your surgeon should consider when choosing your Breast Implant technique.
- Aesthetic Considerations
Each technique produces a different kind of look or aesthetic result. For instance, an over the muscle implant will give you a more prominent, obvious and slightly artificial or fake look. On the other hand, if you want your implants to look more natural, you can go for dual-plane or under the muscle option.
2. Importance of Breast Feeding
Some women plan to have babies after they have gotten the implants. For some people breastfeeding their children is important. If that’s the case, discuss it with your surgeon in advance so he/she can choose a suitable technique for you. Some techniques will not enable you to breastfeed after having kids so discuss this matter during consultation.
3. Your Physiology, Skin Quality and Genetics
Your general body composition will play an important role in determining which technique will suit your body best. At times, surgeons can go ahead with only one technique. The general physiology of the body is the most important deciding factor.
4. Your Surgeon’s Abilities, Skills Preference
Some surgeons prefer one technique over the other. Look for a surgeon with the right skillset.
Most people stress about choosing a particular technique for themselves instead of choosing the right surgeon. I would suggest spending your time on the latter.
Do your web research, read plenty of online reviews, ask in your community and see if somebody has had it done. Look for the credentials of different surgeons in your area. Once you have gone through the process, I recommend booking consultations with at least three of the surgeons.
Once you land on the right surgeon, you can be rest assured that he/she will choose the right breast implant technique for you and there is nothing that you need to worry about. Each technique produces great results and has its own pros and cons. The key is to have a great surgery and then stick to post-surgical care to achieve amazing results. Your surgeon knows what’s best for you. So don’t fret about the technique and trust in the professional.
Dr Patrick Briggs FRCS (Plast) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs offers high quality, natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results and is vastly experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
With worldwide expertise, Dr Patrick Briggs is practising breast, face and body surgery for men and women in Melbourne, VIC.
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