When women inquire about breast augmentation, one of the most common questions they have is regarding where the implants should go. Should they get over or under the muscle breast implants? Some women may already have a predisposed opinion on what they feel is the “right” answer. However, it is important to enter the process with an open mind. You might be surprised which placement works best for you and your specific body type. And sure enough the recovery process might not be exactly the same.
Under the muscle implants, technically known submuscular implants, entail the implant being placed below the pectoral muscle. This procedure tends to be more common because it is best for women who have little natural breast tissue. Since a majority of breast augmentation patients who seek implants do so because they don’t possess this tissue naturally, this is often the recommended route.
By placing implants beneath the chest muscle, it offers additional coverage and support that won’t distort the breast or cause an unnatural look. However, a submuscular implant procedure requires a bit more work on the surgeon’s part than a subglandular implant procedure. This is because, as you may have already put together, they must go further into the breast and operate beneath the muscle. In a subglandular procedure, your pectoral muscle will not be as disturbed as it would be in a submuscular procedure. This results in a more lengthy and painful recovery time.
When making a determination for what placement is right for you, it’s important to consider where the natural breast tissue falls in relation to the pectoral muscle. The pectoral muscle sits high on the chest wall, spanning from the sternum to the shoulder. If your breasts fall much lower than the muscle, whether from aging, breastfeeding, or the like, under the muscle implants may not be advisable. This is because it can cause the implants to appear unnaturally high on the chest, making them appear unnatural and even distorted.
Of the two placement options, submuscular implants are generally the more invasive of the two. This is because it requires the surgeon to separate the pectoral muscle to make room for the implant. The amount of disruption that occurs in the chest wall during surgery plays a direct role in how long and painful the recovery will be.
A subglandular placement may be less painful and have much less downtime post-operation. It may keep the patient away from work or any other physical activity for 2-3 days. For a submuscular placement, it may be about a week before they can return to work and/or other physical activities.
However, for both procedures, the approximate recovery time is also dependent on the location of the incisions as well as the size of the implants. Larger implants require larger incisions, which will in turn take longer to heal. It may take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to completely heal from a breast augmentation, despite whether it’s over or under the muscle breast implants. The estimated recovery time for these procedures is unique to each patient and their individualized treatment plan.
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