What is the Difference Between Partial Sub-muscular & Complete Sub-muscular?

Also what are the pros/cons with the two? I would like the partial because I've read it gives a more teardrop shape but I also read it's more vulnerable to bottoming out. And the complete sub-muscular gives you a much lower risk of capsular contracture but can contribute to the lack of cleavage? Thank you.

Doctor Answers (6)

What is the difference between the partial and complete submuscular implants

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Most surgeons prefer partial submuscular implants as it typically provides the best cosmetic outcome.

The location of the implant placement depends on the shape of the breast and location of nipple areola complex.

Your surgeon will be able to discuss with you all the options and help you decide the best choice following a through consultation.

Hope this is helpful.

Ali Sajjadian, MD


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Su muscular

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Total submuscular breast augmentation is not indicated in any patient, bottoming of the implant may occur in any type of breast augmentation, capsular contracture is more common in subglandular breast augmentation (silicone implant study data), however it occurs in submuscular implants as well and there is no way to know before surgery, so this a real and serious risk. 

The natural look and shape of your breast will depend of several factors, probably the most important will be the size  of the implants you choose, also the amount of breast tissue you have and the quality of your skin.

You need to be sure you choose a board certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only board in plastic surgery recognized by the American board of medical specialties.

Victor M. Perez, MD, FACS
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Pocket location for implants

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A complete submuscular pocket  may lead to the implants staying high and the breast falling off the implant. I prefer a partial submuscular pocket using  a dual plane approach.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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What is the Difference Between Partial Sub-muscular & Complete Sub-muscular?

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In complete the muscle is not released at the bottom and completely covers the implant. My experience has been that in the far majority of patients, their muscle sits too high and therefore leads to an implant that is too high and will not come down with time or massage. I feel that most women need a release of the bottom of the muscle to allow the implant to center itself under the nipple.

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Big Difference between the two

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I dont know of any plastic surgeons who perform a complete submuscular breast augmentation for cosmetic reasons.  Traditionally, this is performed for breast reconstruction as opposed to augmentation.  Most discussions regarding submuscular placement of a breast implants are referring to partial submuscular otherwise known as dual plain breast augmentation.  Placement of the implant under the muscle is associated with decreased capsular contracture.

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Total submuscular vs dual plane muscle cover of breast implants

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Total Submuscular cover of breast implants means that the implant is beneath the pectoralis muscle as well as the serratus anterior muscle.  This was the original description of a submuscular plane.  It was believed that the rate of capsular contracture would be lessthan under the breast gland because the back wall of the implant was next to the rib cage which will not contract as soft tissues do.  In many women the serratus is very thin and difficult to preserve for total muscle cover.  It was also observed that the total muscle cover tended to push implants laterally and contribute to a wide distance between the two breasts.  Most plastic surgeons today use a subpectoral pocket but are under the breast below the lower margin of the pectoralis, which is sometimes called a dual plane.  When plastic surgeons talk about a submuscular placement, they usually are referring to the dual plane.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 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.