Is that true that Implant placed under the muscle ends up looking smaller?

I want to do 375cc but I heard if I put 375cc under the mussel I only end up having 325cc? Is that true that when implant goes under the mussel it end up looking smaller ? Should I use 400cc so I get 375cc look !

Doctor Answers 13

Advice: Do implants placed under look smaller than overs?

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Hi and thanks for your question. Every patient is individual, the same implant can look quite dfferent in two similar patients. Speak candidly with your accredited PS who is the best person to advise you on what size implant will achieve the result you want. If in doubt, go with the larger size your ps suggests. I rarely have a patient say they have gone too big, most if anything wish they'd gone slightly larger! Sub-pectoral implants may look a little smaller/smoother. good luck

London Plastic Surgeon

Do implants under the muscle look smaller?

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you ask a great question. I would tend to agree that an implant under the muscle looks slightly smaller than one on top of the muscle. It also looks more "natural" or rather, less augmented.
As for the size, it is best to look at photos of women who have implants under the muscle in order to compare yourself (before surgery) to their preop photos. If you are trying on implants in a bra or shirt to get an idea of the size, I agree that if you like the way 375 cc looks, you may want to go 400 cc to get the same look. Good luck.

Zol Kryger, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implant Placement Under the Muscle and Size Apperance

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Thank you for your question. This is a common and confusing issue among breast augmentation patients.Communicate clearly with your surgeon what your goals are and listen to what she or he has to say about how to reach them.If you are worried about appearing slightly smaller once the implant is under the muscle, go up one size. I hope this was helpful.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Implants Under the Muscle Look Smaller?

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It has been my experience that silicone gel implants in particular under the muscle tend to look smaller than the appearance of trying on that implant in a bra on top of your breast. For that reason, I usually suggest that the patient consider getting an implant that is 25-50 cc's than what they like during the "try-on" experience. Of course there are always exceptions and you should review this carefully with your surgeon to make sure that he/she understands you goals.

Is that true that Implant placed under the muscle ends up looking smaller?

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The best cosmetic result in any particular breast augmentation patient depends on a variety of factors, including: your individual anatomy, realistic expectations, a thorough discussion with the plastic surgeon about the options, and an understanding of the pros and cons of any particular implant choice. Proper sizing is not just about the number of cc’s. The thickness of your tissue, breast dimensions which include the width, height, and projection, as well as chest wall width all need to be considered when choosing an implant. Trying on implant “sizers” of various shapes and volumes while wearing a tight t-shirt, bra, or bathing sit at a preoperative visit will help you and your surgeon choose the optimal implant.

An implant placed under the muscle will generally look slightly smaller than the trial sizer in front of the breast inside a tight t-shirt or bra.

Keep in mind that following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Implants under the muscle

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Implants under the muscle may seem smaller in some women, but not all.  Nonetheless, I always place the milk ant under the muscle.  I don't think you would see much difference between the 375 and 400 implants, but if you are concerned they won't be large enough, go for the 400's.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Is that true that Implant placed under the muscle ends up looking smaller?

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    It is not unreasonable to increase the size by about 10% due to compressive forces.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

The look of breast implants in different positions

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Breast implants are measured by volume (cc's) and dimensions (three) but what you're really interested in is the effect, not the number of cc's. The same goes for fitting shoes or dresses. The same size works differently on different bodies and you can't just choose a size (or volume) and make it work. 
I generally agree with Dr. Pousti's response except I don't find external sizers and computer imaging to be very helpful either. The reason is that an implant has one effect externally, a different effect under the skin/breast, and another under the pectoralis muscle. The implant and it's volume is the same but it has a different effect. 
Yes, the same volume and dimension implant under the pectoralis muscle will not have as much effect as the same volume and dimension implant under the breast but there are a whole host of reasons why implants do better under the pectoralis muscle for the upper half of the breast. Also, 25 cc's difference is barely noticeable in the result. Implants are properly sized by making sure the width (diameter) of a round implant is about 3/4 to 1cm less the breast it is fitting behind (measured with the body upright and arms down). The only real choice for a properly fitted implant is the forward volume (profile). Generally in breasts that are not too wide or narrow for the chest around, the effect of the lowest profile implant that fits properly behind the breast and below the pectoralis muscle will make the breast look about one cup size bigger than it started (although this is far from exact or measurable). The highest profile implant of the same width will make the breast look about two cup sizes larger, and the middle profile will be in between. The number of cc's is determined by looking up the proper width implant in the chosen profile. It's far from exact but this is the best way to determine the effect in my opinion and experience. Agree on what size the breast is to start with and figure up 1-2 cup sizes depending on the forward profile. Don't start with the number of cc's and work backwards. 
This also has the advantage that the surgeon knows the implant will fit before the surgery and the patient knows what the effect will be and isn't surprised or disappointed.

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Do breast implants look smaller one placed under the chest muscle

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In my experience placing breast implants beneath the chest muscle does not make the breast looks significantly smaller than it would if the implant was placed under the breast.  I concur that this is part of the methodology that has developed around breast implants.

When considering breast augmentation you need to undergo a breast implant sizing system evaluation.

For more information on how to choose the size of your breast implant please read the following link:

Implants can seem a bit smaller once they are implanted

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It is true that breast implants placed in a bra over your skin can seem a bit smaller in size when a corresponding implant is actually implanted in the breast pocket.  Your surgeon should review this in detail and take this into account when suggesting a particular implant for you.

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.