Should my breast implant be placed over or under the muscle?

Breast implant placement is important, says Dr. Richard Vanik.In a breast augmentation, placement of the breast implant is important. Multiple factors influence the choice of where to place a breast implant in relation to the chest muscle, including the desired final look and recovery time.

The recovery time tends to be shorter for implants over the muscle, while a breast implant under the muscle usually takes about six weeks for the patient to return to normal activities. A breast implant placed over the muscle can also be larger.

However, some patients will find they prefer the look of an augmentation where the breast implant is placed under the muscle, said Dr. Richard Vanik, board-certified plastic surgeon.

While the recovery time may be shorter for over-the-muscle implants, “The implant tends to be a little more visible,” Vanik said. “You don’t have as much soft tissue to cover the implant. It’s also more likely to get some hardness around the implant.”

In contrast, an implant placed under the muscle is covered with more soft tissue, making the implant less visible and the overall effect more natural-looking, particularly in the upper breast.

Vanik usually recommends the dual plane position, a technique of placing the implant so it is partially under the chest muscle, getting the benefits of both over- and under-muscle implants. In this position, the upper part of the implant is under the chest muscle, while the lower part of the implant is under only the breast tissue, not the chest muscle.

“You have better coverage at the top of the breast,” he said, “[And it] fills the bottom of the breast better where you want more projection.”

Vanik noted that at every consultation, he carefully discusses each patient’s needs and goals to discuss the best option for them. To schedule a free cosmetic surgery consultation, call (713) 960-6262. Read more about Amerejuve in The Amerejuve Insider Vol. 1 No. 7.

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