What exactly does the phrase "the pocket" refer to in breast augmentation? (Photo)

I've read statements in reviews that refer to how the implant "sits in the pocket", and I recently read a post that referenced "creating the pocket." What is the pocket and what's it's relationship to the final appearance if the breasts? I want silicone implants, 450cc's, high profile. Age: 40. 3 kids (13, 12, 8). Nursed all three for about 18 mos. 2011 - had lumpectomy. The mass was non-cancerous, and my mammograms since then have shown nothing out of the ordinary. Extremely dense breasts.

Doctor Answers 18

Breast pocket

When placing implants the surgeon must first make an incision through which he/she develops a pocket which is done by separating the tissues above and below so there is a space into which the implant is inserted. This pocket can be above or below the pectoral muscles.  The importance of the pocket is that it defines the ultimate position of the implants on your chest.

Portsmouth Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

What is the breast augmentation pocket?

Thank you for your question.  The breast augmentation pocket is the space that is dissected or opened beneath your breast or chest muscle during breast augmentation The breast implant is inserted into this open space.  It is normal for your body to form a thin membrane around the implant so that the breast implant pocket after insertion of your breast implant is lined by a thin membrane called a capsule.  The goal is that the pocket remain large enough so that the implant is free to move and feels soft from the outside.  When the thin membrane tightens it is called a capsular contraction which can make the breast implant feel firm.

The Pocket

The space for the implant isn't there until it is sculpted beneath your breast by your surgeon. Using a brightly lighted surgical retractor inserted through the incision, the pocket is created specifically in the dimensions needed for the implant chosen. A cautery is used to create the pocket by precisely splitting apart the tissues in the shape, size and position needed to create your ideal breast. The cautery allows the tissues to be sealed off with minimal bleeding and minimal trauma to your tissues. Once the pocket has been created and the implant inserted, your surgeon closes it with 3 layers of sutures sealing the implant inside the newly formed pocket. There are several variations in pockets and based on your photos you will likely need a biplanar pocket to help the lower pole of your breast expand, especially on the right side. Be sure you are precisely measured for the right implant and that you explain your goals clearly since your anatomy can lead to a very "top-heavy" and un-natural result if too large an implant is selected.

Gregory J. Stagnone, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Breast Augmentation Pocket

The “pocket” is the location where the breast implant is placed. It is not naturally occurring; instead it is a space created by the plastic surgeon.

Karen Singer, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

"The Pocket" in Breast Augmentation

You've asked a very important question and one that I am sure many others have wondered about.  Please see the attached video for a thorough answer to your question

Michael A. Epstein, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Breast implant pocket

The breast implant pocket refers to the space that's made in which the implant is placed.  For example, it could be a pocket which is beneath the pectoralis muscle, or above the pectoralis muscle and under the breast tissue.

Arnold S. Breitbart, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

Implant pocket

When a surgeon performs a breast augmentation procedure, they create a pocket in your chest, either partially under your chest muscles or under your natural breast tissue. This pocket is created by cutting the tissues and is basically a space where your implants are placed inside. As you recover the implants become surrounded by scar tissue. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Implant pocket

The pocket is the space that the surgeon dissects into which the implant is placed.  Broadly there are two pockets - "above" and "below" the muscle.

Above the muscle is most often used to mean the subglandular pocket; however, many surgeons prefer the subfascial pocket which is also above the muscle.

Below the muscle refers to the dual plane pocket in which the implant is placed below the pectoralis major muscle which means that some of the implant is directly beneath the breast gland (is not unter any muscle) - thus dual plane.  Very few (if any) surgeons today place the implants in a pocket completely below the pectoralis and serratus muscles. 

Michael B. Tantillo, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast augmentation pocket

The "pocket" is the space where the implant is inserted. For the vast majority of patients, the pocket is created partially behind the pectoralis or chest muscle. From the pictures provided you appear to be an excellent candidate for breast implant surgery. 

Thanks for your question and best of luck!

Bradley A. Hubbard, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

The "pocket" in breast augmentation

The "pocket" refers to the area either below the muscle or above the  muscle that the surgeon creates to place the impalnt.  

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 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.