Implant Placement, Over or Under Muscles

Jul 5, 2021 | Breast Augmentation

Most breast augmentation procedures are completed using silicone or saline implants. you would need to decide on the location that you’d want your implants to be placed. The location of implant placement critically influences the kind of results to be obtained. Of course, this would be done with the help of your surgeon. Breast implants can either be placed over or under the breast muscles. In simple terms, they can be placed beneath the breast tissues, over the chest muscles, or beneath the breast muscles, but partially under the pectoral muscle. Each technique of implant placement is associated with unique benefits and risks. Before choosing one way, it is important that you understand, and evaluate the best way for you. This article explains their differences.

Over the Muscle Placement

Over the muscle placement technique is also referred to as Subglandular placement. It is where the implants are placed on top of the chest muscles, though under the skin, fats, and glandular breast tissues. It is best recommended for patients with a moderate amount of breast tissue that covers and supports the implants. Placing implants over the breast muscles is a simple surgery that takes a shorter time, and has faster recovery.

Pros of over the Muscle Placement

  • The surgery involves simple, easier steps.
  • Recovery takes a shorter duration compared to other techniques of surgery.
  • It takes a shorter period of time to perform.
  • It is less painful because nothing much is tampered with. Only the incision sites and the wounds would be painful.
  • It leaves the chest muscles intact, which means that there would be no weak spot or loss of function within the body.
  • A patient will always feel comfortable with the implants since they will completely blend in with the breast muscles.
  • There will be zero movements of the implants when the chest muscles are flexed, or when stretching.
  • The implants would give the breasts a lift if the patient’s breasts were sagging.
  • As one ages, the implants would naturally align themselves with the breasts to continually give a natural look.

Cons of Over the Muscle Placement

  • There is a slightly higher chance of implant rippling which may be visible, especially to patients who have thin breast tissue. Having thin breast tissue means that your breasts won’t be completely covered putting them at the risk of forming wrinkles which may rupture with time causing rippling.
  • At the same time, over the muscle placement could make one experience capsular contracture, a complication associated with breast implants, especially if the implants used had smooth surfaces.
  • Less breast tissue can be visualized on a mammogram.

Under the Muscle Placement

Under the muscle placement is also referred to as Submuscular placement. It is a method recommended to patients with little, or less breast tissues. Here, the chest muscles are used to provide coverage and support to the implants. During surgery, the surgeon has to consider the position of the breasts in relation to the chest and breast muscles. If the breasts have sagged below the chest muscles, then this method is inadvisable since it could make the implants seem unusually higher on the chest, bringing out a less natural look. Under the muscle placement surgery is more invasive, involves complex procedures, and could cause a great deal of discomfort.

Pros of Under the Muscle Placement

  • The implants are well covered and supported.
  • There are very minimal chances of the implant rippling or wrinkling.
  • The implants can barely be seen or felt.
  • A mammogram can visualize more breast tissue.

Cons of Under the Muscle Placement

  • The implants can shift position over time. Implants are placed at the chest muscles which experience force during exercises, or when lifting heavy equipment. This force in turn would displace the implants, especially if the ones used have smooth surfaces.
  • The procedure is very painful because of how invasive it is.
  • It takes a longer time to perform.
  • Recovery takes longer than expected.
  • The whole procedure causes discomfort to the breasts.
  • The implants can become shapeless, or flat when the chest muscles are flexed. This is the reason why this breast surgical technique is unrecommended to women who constantly go to the gym, or who engage in weight lifting.
  • The chest muscles lose their initial strength as they initially were before surgery.


Implant placement is one of the key things to research before undergoing any breast surgical procedure. Having your implants placed in the wrong position could cause serious complications which may leave you with lifetime consequences. It, therefore, is very necessary to consult with your surgeon. He would examine your body and be able to evaluate your results for beautiful results to be obtained.