When choosing what kind of breast implants would be best for a patient, some determining factors such as exercise habits, how much breast tissue already exists, and current breast size will determine where the implant will be placed. Obviously the implant will be placed in the breast, but it can be either subglandular breast implants under the mammary gland, or submusclar breast implants under the pectoral muscle.
Where the Subglandular Breast Implants are Placed
The patient and the surgeon can determine prior to the surgery where the breast implants will be placed to achieve the desired effects. The subglandular breast implants are placed underneath the mammary gland but above the pectoral muscle.
Sometimes called the over-the-muscle implant, this type of placement can be used with all of the incision types, including:
- Transaxillary (armpit) incision
- Inframammary (fold at the bottom of breast) incision
- Areola (outer rim of the nipple) incision
- Trans-umbilical or TUBA (edge of navel) incision
Advantages of Subglandular Placement
There are many advantages to receiving subglandular breast implants over submuscular implants. For one, there is normally less pain and discomfort after breast enlargement surgery with the subglandular option, and the recovery time is shorter as well. This is because the musculature isn't disturbed by the surgeon or an implant, and the skin and fat tissue being shifted instead is much more pliable.
Secondly, the over-the-muscle implants are usually much easier for a surgeon to manipulate and place. This goes for post-surgery access as well, if operations are needed afterwards. With implants usually lasting ten years on average, this should definitely be something to consider when choosing which implant is right for you.
Another important visual difference is cleavage. Subglandular implants can create cleavage more easily than submuscular implants, especially if the breasts are naturally far apart to begin with.
Lastly, many athletic and active women prefer subglandular implants because it won't affect their muscles. Implants placed under the muscles can shift and look unnatural when the chest is flexed, which can be very concerning for women who weight train, are body sculpters, or professional body builders.
Disadvantages of Subglandular Placement
Of course, there are some disadvantages to this type of implant that submuscular implants don't have. Make sure to think about these if you are choosing between the two types.
Most people believe that breast implants placed under the chest muscle display a more natural looking slope and appearance than subglandular implants, which can sometimes look rounder than natural breasts. Ripples formed within the shell of the implant, due to pressure placed on the bag from being inside the body and the bag's natural tendency to fold inward, can be felt and seen more easily when it isn't placed behind a muscle. Women who have little or almost no breast tissue can experience this even more, since there is less to conceal the implant.
The detection of breast cancer can also be disrupted by a subglandular implant, since the implant is within the breast tissue and gland itself.
Also, and perhaps most seriously, capsular contracture is more likely to occur with the over-the-muscle implant. This condition is when the scar tissue tightens around the implant, making the implant appear to be much harder than it actually is. It can become painful as time goes on, and makes the breast look and feel very unnatural.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast augmentation before and after photos.
Photo credit: Accent Plastic Surgery
Learn More about Subglandular Breast Implants from a Surgeon
If you are thinking about getting subglandular breast implants, talk to a qualified surgeon about whether or not it will be the best choice to get the results you want. There you can also talk about the different options available to you as well, including incision site, type of implant, and size and shape. Utilize the DocShop directory of physicians to find a qualified breast surgeon in your area that can give you the look you truly want.