Will my Recovery After Breast Implants Be More Rapid Because They're Being Placed Above the Muscle?

Doctor Answers 10

Will my Recovery After Breast Implants Be More Rapid Because They're Being Placed Above the Muscle?

You may experience less pain when compared with a patient with implants placed under the pectoralis muscle, but the healing and recovery time should not be different. Hopefully this is not the main reason for your choice of implant position--the pain difference is for a few days, the implants will be with you for years.

Thanks and best wishes.

Quicker Recovery after Sub glandular Breast Augmentation?

Generally speaking, breast augmentation done with breast implants above the muscle tends to be an operation associated with less discomfort than breast implants placed below ( dual plane) the pectoralis muscle. Make sure you are well informed about the other pros/cons of breast implant  location/placement.

 Best wishes.

Recovery after breast implants placed under the gland on top of the muscle is usually a week shorter

Thank you for your question. You are correct that Sub-glandular breast augmentation recovery is shorter than recovery after placing breast implants beneath the chest muscle. After Sub-glandular breast augmentation many patients feel quite well after 3 or 4 days but I recommend waiting a week to return to work, 2 weeks if your work involves lifting.

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Healing time above or below muscle.

Healing time is essentially the same for position above and below the muscle. You may have less pain from surgery above the muscle, however.

Recovery with above the muscle implant placement


Thank you for your question.

Typically, the healing time is the same for both under the muscle
placement implants and for over the muscle. However, the healing
associated with over the muscle placement tends to be less painful and
sore. I would recommend having an in person consultation with a board
certified plastic surgeon to sufficiently discuss the pros and cons of
both placements.

Good luck.

Dr. Sam Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implant Recovery Time Above or Below Muscle

The recovery time for breast implants varies only slightly between implants placed above the pectoral muscle and implants placed below the muscle. The biggest determining factor of recovery time is the gentleness of the surgeon during surgery.

Jaime Perez, MD
Breast Implant Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Less pain after breast augmentation & subfascial breast augmentation

I have found that the use of the Harmonic scalpel significantly reduces patient discomfort postoperatively, regardless of the plane in which the implant is placed. I am also a big proponent of subfascial breast augmentation for the right patient. It is a technically more difficult operation, but one which, when well done, gives you the best of both worlds.

Andrew Rosenthal, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Is above muscle implant placement less painful than below? MAYBE NOT!

Same surgeon, same technique, same attention to precision and detail: perhaps a small amount less pain and muscle spasm above the muscle as compared to below. But the variation among surgeons (blunt vs. sharp dissection, precise hemostasis vs. less fastidious with more bleeding/bruising, and other factors such as use of long-acting anesthetics in the pocket, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications, or NOT) is much more of a determinant of post-op pain rather than choice of implant position above or below the muscle. You should choose the best surgeon, not a particular implant position!

But as Dr. Johnson has indicated, there is clear-cut scientific basis for less capsular contracture below the muscle as compared to above-muscle implant placement, so you should consider how much "pain" (financial, time off, and actual surgical discomfort) is associated with re-operation for capsular contracture!

You want the most careful and precise surgery in the best implant location for reducing risks, and then use the most thoughtful and comprehensive pain/spasm/inflammation protocol during your recovery. Also, no dancing or clubbing after surgery, even if you feel so good you can! For more information, click on the web reference link below. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Recovery can be faster after subglandular breast augmentation

Overall the healing time is very similar for both, however there is no muscular pain and tenderness and in this respect subglandular augmentation is considered an easier recovery. Most implants are placed under the muscle for better coverage and lower capsular contracture rates, though there are reasons for subglandular implants for some. Be sure you have discussed the issue fully before surgery.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews




Not so much that it will be faster but it will definitely be less painful. Make sure you are informed of the pro and cons of placing the implants above the muscle. Good luck


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 9 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.