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The Most Common Breast Implant Positions

One of the most asked questions about breast augmentation is breast implant placement and positions. This refers to the exact position where the implant is placed. There are three locations where implants can be placed. These are sub-muscular, sub-glandular, and dual plane. Each position has its pros and cons but your choice will depend on factors such as your lifestyle, breast characteristics, and the look you want to achieve.

To have a better understanding of breast implant positions, it’s important to first have a little knowledge about the muscles in your chest area. There are basically two main muscles in your chest area namely the pectoralis major muscle, commonly known as the pectoral muscle, that runs from the armpit to the upper section of your chest and the serratus anterior muscle that runs from the back to the lower section of the chest. Implant positions are defined in relation to the pectoral muscle.

Let’s look at each position in more detail.

Sub-Muscular or Under the Muscle Position

In this case, the implant is positioned behind the pectoral muscle. This position has several advantages. The muscle in front gives additional tissue and coverage creating a more natural look. The position reduces the chances of rippling or interfering with the mammograms. It also reduces the chances of interference with future breastfeeding and sagging of breasts. The implants are positioned a little bit further from the breast tissue and are less likely to interfere with the normal functioning of the breasts.

Sub-Glandular or Front of the Muscle Position

The implant, in this case, is placed right under the breast tissue between the tissue and the pectoral muscle below. Many surgeons prefer this position for women with mild or potential breast sagging or those with tuberous breast deformities. The position is also a perfect choice for women who engage in physically demanding and repetitive pectoral muscle exercises such as weight lifters and bodybuilders. However, it gives you a “stuck on” appearance because the implant edges are not sufficiently covered by the chest wall tissue.

Woman breast implant cross section. Comparison diagram, under and over pectoral muscle.

There’s another variation of the sub-glandular position known as the sub-fascial placement. The implant in this type of position is placed in front of the pectoral muscle but under the muscle’s sheath. The position has the same benefits and disadvantages as the sub-glandular placement.

Dual Plane Position

In dual plane position, the implant is placed under the pectoral muscle in the upper side but over the serratus anterior muscle. This is one of the most preferred implant positions because natural breast tissue is normally thick enough in the lower section to cover the implant. Another advantage is that the muscle in the upper part of the bust will provide sufficient cover at the top. This gives you good coverage in the upper section of your bust without constricting the lower section, giving you a fuller natural-looking cleavage.

How Do You Choose the Best Breast Implant Position?

Your choice will depend on your desired results, lifestyle, and more importantly the advice of the surgeons after preliminary tests. The surgeon will recommend the best implant position for you after measuring your natural chest tissue.

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