Preferred Placement of Silicone Implants - Sub Pec or on Top of Muscle, After Capsulectomy?

Dear Drs, thanks for your prof.opinion. I decided to have my 40 year old implants removed & replaced w/silicone gel.Present implants are on top of muscle. I was told that I have very little breast tissue. Will addtl breast tissue be lost w/capsulectomy? Would like to remain a "B", I'm petite and thin. Prefer top of muscle for easier healing,is there a chance that the implant would ripple or show? Would I get better results with under muscle or top of muscle placement? Thank you.

Doctor Answers (11)

Silicone Gel Breast Implants after Capsulectomy - Above/Below Muscle

+2

Dear roses7,

As with so many other issues in plastic surgery (and probably everything else) there are no absolute answers to this.  There are some general guideline and then you have to see where you fit in to all of them.  Here's a few thoughts:

1)  Silicone Gel Breast Implants are generally softer and "more natural" and are certainly less likely to ripple than are saline implants.  So to the extent that you have very little skin and subcutaneous tissue of your own, placing implants under the muscle is that much more important for saline than for silicone.

2) Regardless of the type of implant, you Will see and feel the upper edges and sides more if the implant is on top of the muscle than if it is underneath.  As a result most implant are better under the muscle (my opinion, again).

3)  You may have even less tissue left after a capsulectomy (actually, you will) so for the above reasons it makes even that much more sense to place the implants under the muscles.  Just to underscore how important that tissue coverage is for the final result, breast implant revision surgeons are increasingly adding tissue - in the form of acellular dermal matrix (ACD) such as Alloderm or Strattice - to the reconstruction.  These materials, among other things, increase the bulk of tissue covering the implant and make the implant that much less visible.

So - no absolute answers, but you're probably going to be happier with implants under the muscle.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

With silicone gel implants, placement above or below the muscle is acceptable.

+2

I disagree with opinions that restrict the placement of the implants (silicone gel) under the muscle.  In the case of saline, I agree.  However, I don't think there is any aesthetic advantage with silicone gel.  I don't have a problem placing them under the muscle, I just don't think that there is an aesthetic advantage unless the patient has almost no breast tissue.

Web reference: http://www.zubowicz.com/subpag,13-atlanta-breast-augmentation.htm

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

New implants after capsulectomy best under the muscle

+2

There will be some additional tissue lost with the capsulectomy, and if you are thin then going under the muscle will usually give a better appearance. Your surgeon should work with you on a process for choosong the best size and style of implant.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Implant position

+2

I prefer to keep iimplants in the submuscular pocket( dual plane) because I think that is is better protected in this location.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Sub Pec versus Above the Muscle Breast Implant

+1

Good question and a common situation.  Typically, a small amount of breast tissue is incidentally removed with a capsullectomy, although not enough to make a cup size difference.  If you have very thin breast tissue to start with, this may be important.  Even though silicone rippling is uncommon, it can and does happen in some situations.  Placing silicone implants above the muscle with thin overlying skin is a situation where you may have rippling (although it is not predictable), especially when you are leaning forward.  I agree that your recovery process is easier if you remain above the muscle.  Best wishes!

Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast revision for subglandular implants

+1

It is always a good idea to place implants under the muscle which provides them increased cushion and allows the pec muscles to continually message the implants. When undergoing breast revision surgery, it is a good idea to place the implants from subglandular to a subpectoral pocket.

Laguna Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Implat exchange

+1

Usually, minimal breast tissue is removed with a capsulectomy.

I prefer submuscular placement initially. However, if you have subglandular implants that have remained soft, and aesthetically acceptable for 40 years, it is less complex and may be the best plan to put it in the same pocket.  Placing it under the muscle introduces possibility of need for pexy.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

It all depends on the breast tissue left after implant and capsule removal

+1

Under the muscle implant placement generally works better ,but in your case the muscle may not cover the most of the implant and you may get rippling. The rippling will be less with silicone gel implants. The other option that I offer to the patient with very thin breast tissue if fat grafting over the implant in a later date.  

New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Placing new silicone implants behind the muscle is the right choice

+1

You are already thin and having a capsulectomy will result in an even thinner tissue layer which may also have irregularities. You would be much better served and have a better result on many accounts by having the implants placed behind the muscle. There will be better support of the implant, lower risk/extent of rippling and lower risk of capsular contracture as just some of the advantages.

Web reference: http://www.turkeltaub.com

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Implant on top or underneath muscle?

+1

Dear Roses, You will lose some breast tissue if a full capsulectomy is performed.  If you do not have sufficient tissue to cover the implant, then submuscular placement would help.  It is difficult to advise without examining you, so if you are happy with your surgeon, then take his or her advice.  If you are not happy with your surgeon, seek a second opinion.  Good luck.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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