What Is Breast Implant Placement?

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What is breast implant placement?

The Short Answer: Breast implant placement is where your surgeon will place the breast implant.

Subglandular placement (over the muscle) and submuscular placement (under the muscle) are the two most common.

Over vs. Under

  • Over the muscle (subglandular): Breast implants are situated between the breast tissue and the chest wall
  • Under the muscle (submuscular): Breast implants are located beneath the chest muscle
Subglandular (over-the-muscle) breast implant placement and Submuscular (under-the-muscle) breast implant placement

So how do you know which placement is best for you? 

There is no “right” or “better” breast implant placement–it all really depends on your anatomy and lifestyle.

An honest conversation with your board-certified plastic surgeon during your consultation will help you to know what placement is best for you and your goals.

We know, a straightforward answer is what we all wanted. But! There are some key differences between the two.

So, let’s break down the pros and cons of over the muscle and under the muscle breast implant placements.

First up, over the muscle…

Sublgandular (over the muscle) placement means your implant will be over the pectoral muscle, situated between the chest wall and breast tissue.

For some women, this creates more upper pole fullness with an augmented look and for others a more natural appearance. The outcome and risks vary depending on your anatomy and goals so it's important to be informed, yet flexible during the conversation with your surgeon.

A perk for some with subglandular placement is an implant exchange tends to be a fairly easy and less-invasive procedure.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Some risks include capsular contracture, bottoming out, and rippling.

Pros of over the muscle (subglandular): 
  • Can provide more fullness in north pole of breasts depending on your anatomy
  • Typically easier to exchange the breast implant
  • Preferred by, but not limited to, bodybuilders or people who heavy-lift
Cons of over the muscle (subglandular):
  • Higher risk of bottoming out
  • Higher risk of capsular contraction
  • Implants can be more visible through the skin depending on your anatomy
Now, let’s see what under the muscle is all about… 

With submusclar implant placement, the implant is placed under the pectoral muscles, which can slightly increase the recovery time for some women.

Despite its extended recovery, submuscular placement is popular because it typically has a lower risk of capsular contracture and fewer complications like implant ruptures and bottoming out.

Of course, every woman is different and therefore everyone's experience and needs are a bit different.

Being armed with the basics of each placement before your consultation will ensure you're asking the right questions and not caught off-guard during your consultation.

Pros of under the muscle (submuscular):
  • Lower risk of bottoming out
  • Lower risk of capsular contracture
  • More natural appearance depending on your anatomy
  • Less likely to cause rippling
Cons of under the muscle (submuscular):
  • Higher risk of lateral displacement when heavy-lifting/bodybuilding 
  • Typically less natural movement (bouncing, falling to the side when lying down) 
  • Slightly longer recovery time than over the muscle

During your consultation, you'll have time to discuss your personal goals using your goal photos as a guide, share your lifestyle and concerns, as well as get personalized recommendations from your surgeon based on your examination.

The more understanding and knowledge of the basics, like implant placement, you have before your consultation, the more time can be spent creating a personalized surgical plan to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

breast implant placement, subglandular placement vs submuscular placement
Breast Implant Placement Options

Curious about what over vs. under could look like on you?

The Bustmob GoalFinder is a massive collection of real results from real women. You can search and filter thousands of after-photos by implant placement, implant size, patient weight, height, even complexion to see what each placement looks like on a similar frame to yours.

Save your favorites in a personalized collection so you are prepared and organized before you schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon.

Found this helpful, but want more?

With hundreds of videos just like the one above, the free Bustmob Academy app is the perfect place to learn all things plastic surgery. 

From commonly told myths and FAQs, to recovery time and costs, Jenny Eden, founder of Bustmob, and Gretta Nance, lead educator at Amelia Aesthetics, break down your plastic surgery research into bite-size, bingeable pieces. 

Ready to learn everything about plastic surgery?

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Jenny Eden
Founder, Bustmob Community
Gretta Nance
Lead Educator, Amelia Aesthetics
Ready to learn everything about plastic surgery?
Download Bustmob Academy