Breast Surgery - Sub Muscular vs. Sub Glandular Placement

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During breast surgery, your implants can be placed either subglandularly, meaning between the breast tissue and the pectoral, or chest muscle; or submuscularly, meaning beneath the pectoral muscle.

Each placement method has its benefits and drawbacks, and the decision must take into account each woman’s unique goals and physical characteristics. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for another.

Subglandular Placement

Subglandular placement of breast implants means that your implants are inserted closer to the surface, underneath the existing breast tissue, but atop the pectoral muscle.

Depending on the size of your breasts and the distribution of breast tissue, the implants may be more noticeable. If there’s insufficient breast tissue to cover the implants, you may find that you can feel and sometimes see the edges of the implants under their skin.

Subglandular placement has been shown to increase the potential for a condition known as capsular contracture , in which the scar tissue surrounding the implant tightens around and squeezes the implant, causing it to harden. In cases of capsular contracture, you may need additional surgery to remove the capsule tissue, or reposition / replace / remove the implant.

Finally, subglandular placement of breast implants may interfere more with mammograms than submuscular implants.

Submuscular Placement

Submuscular placement of breast implants means that the implants are placed below both the breast tissue and the pectoral muscles, closer to the breastplate than subglandular implants.

Benefits of submuscular placement include the fact that mammograms are easier to perform and read with submuscular placement. Further particularly in women with less existing breast tissue, submuscular implants may not be as obvious from the outside. Submuscular implants also carry less risk for capsular contracture than subglandular implants.

Drawbacks are that submuscular surgery, depending upon your surgeons technique, may result in creasing or displacement of your implant, particularly in competitive body builders. Routine exercise should not be a problem after surgery.