Will Under the Muscle Implants Damage Pectoral Muscles Permanently?

I have very little breast tissue, therefore would need to have implants under the muscle. My concern is as an athletic person who weight trains 5 times a week that this will cause permanent and irreparable damage to my chest muscles. Is it possible to undergo this procedure without undergoing any loss in pectoralis muscle strength and athletic ability?

Doctor Answers 17

Will Under the Muscle Implants Damage Pectoral Muscles Permanently

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Will Under the Muscle Implants Damage Pectoral Muscles Permanently? Although there may be a very slight diminution of pectoralis muscle strength, it is relatively negligible and not functionally significant in most instances.

The long term effect of implants placed under the muscle

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Hi there-

There is absolutely no question in my mind that placing breast implants under the pectoralis muscle is in the patient's best interests in all but a very few, very rare circumstances (like competitive body builders).

The muscle is altered a bit, but having had many professional athletes and otherwise extremely active people as patients, I can tell you that your ability to exercise and perform should not be affected.

If you ARE a competitive body builder I would suggest placing them over your muscle and accepting the aesthetic compromise and shorter lifespan (of the implants).

Under the muscle placement is better

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I utilize the under muscle position for virtually all breast augmentations. For women with low body fat such as yourself, the over the muscle position puts the implant just under the skin which can look fake. It's true that a very muscular bodybuilder can have issues under the muscle; however if you are not overly muscular, the under position will look better in most patients. You will probably not even notice any decreased strength or mobility post op. One word of caution- proportionality is the key- don't go too large. Good luck.

David Shuter, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmentation in athletic people

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There are choices to make in any surgery. Just because you have little breasts tissue does not mean that you have to have the implant under the muscle. In fact, in you, an athletic weight trainer, it is contraindicated. You would lose strength of the pectoralis and have breasts that do not project as much as desired, require a larger implant, and move with every arm motion. In short, you would be quite unhappy with that option. I have done a very large number of women like you with textured implants over the muscle with excellent results.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Muscle damage from subpectoral implants

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I have personally never seen any permanent damage to the pectoral muscles following submuscular placement of breast implants, although I suppose there is a remote possibility of this. If you indeed have very little breast tissue, you will definately obtain a better result from your augmentation if the implants are placed submuscularly.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Breast implants can be placed above the muscles to prevent damagae

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 Hello - In order to prevent any damage to your pec muscles, you can have the implants placed over them.  However, this will increase the chance that you will be able to see the outline and shape of the implants.  Since you're an avid athlete, I would recommend placement over the muscle also because whenever you flex you can see the implants move and this may distressing to you.  Good luck!

No noticeable damage to the pectoralis muscle after breast augmentation

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Most breast augmentation procedures involve a subpectoral placement of the implant. This positioning of the implant is done through what we refer to as a "muscle spliting technique". The origin of the muscle which is found along the inferior aspect of the breast along the fold, is usually released to some extent to allow for better positioning of the implant.

The muscle is still connected to the breastbone and its insertion at the shoulder. So it is injured to some extent through the dissection alone, however the relationship of the mucscle in regards to its mechanics is not noticebly affected .

Implants under the muscle

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Yes, you can have implants under the muscle without losing any muscle strength or ability. As long as the surgery is performed by a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience with this procedure and you are in good health which sounds like you are, you should run a very low risk of any complications.

You will need to refrain from any heavy lifting for several weeks, but can return to light activities after about a week. Most patients, especially those who do heavy lifting, recover with the same amount of muscle strength. Discuss any concerns with your plastic surgeon as always.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Submuscular implants

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I place breast implants under the muscle all the time especially in very thin patients. While some of the muscle has to be divided along the inferior medial pole, it should not impact your strength or exercise patterns in any significant ways.

Muscle damage from subpectoral implants

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It does seem reasonable to place your implants in the submuscular position. The usual technique is to release part of the muscle attachments but not the complete muscle which could lead to problems down the road if the muscle retracts. The best advice would be to use as small of an implant as possible that will make you happy and to keep part of the muscles intact along the sternum.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.