Overview of the Submuscular Technique for Breast Augmentation


Breast Augmentation: Submuscular Technique


A breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed elective surgical procedures in today’s society. Breast augmentations have been performed for decades. Over those decades new techniques have been developed to alleviate some of the potential negative outcomes associated with the surgery.


There are two main procedure types that the Chicago plastic surgeon may use when you present for breast augmentation surgery. Those techniques include: subglandular and submuscular. This particular article will be evaluating the submuscular surgical technique. The advantages and disadvantages of this technique will also be evaluated.




The submuscular surgical technique is commonly used to avoid negative outcomes associated with other breast augmentation techniques. Using this particular technique, the implant can be placed partially or completely under the pectoral muscles of the chest.


A Chicago plastic surgeon also has the option of a dual plane approach in which a portion of the implant is under the musculature, while the other portion of the implant is located under the glandular tissue. This approach can help when the patient has a small degree of breast ptosis or “sagging”. The implant can be placed via an infra-mammary incision (under the breast, in the crease) or a peri-areolar incision (at the bottom rim of the areola). The decision is made with the patient’s goals in mind combined with her physical exam findings.




There are several benefits associated with the submuscular breast implant technique. The major benefit of undergoing this particular procedure is that the chances of capsular contracture are greatly decreased in most cases. Capsular contracture results when fibrous tissue builds up around the capsule where the implants are located. This can lead to a tightened or firm feel of the breast implant that is not desired.


The other large benefit of placing the implant underneath the muscle is that it allows a nicer slope to the top of the breast. In patients who are thinner or do not have that much fat in the breast, an implant that is placed under the muscle can help it appear more natural. The implant is also completely covered, and the implant is not as visible as with other techniques. Overall, the results of using the submuscular technique can decrease the chances of negative outcomes seen with other techniques.




Each surgical procedure comes with its own set of risks and disadvantages. Some of those disadvantages include: increased post-operative soreness, implant size is restricted, and possible displacement of the implant. Because the surgical procedure places the implants below the musculature, the result is increased post-operative soreness as compared to other procedures.


Another disadvantage of this procedure is the size of the capsule is limited because of the anatomic boundaries; thus, the implants can only be a certain size. Very large implants will not always fit under the muscle. Infection is a risk associated with any surgery but the procedure is done under the highest sterile conditions and you are given antibiotics to decrease this chance. There is always the chance of post-operative bleeding but it is rare to have to go back to the OR to fix this.


Next Steps


Once the procedure is completed, it is important to follow the instructions provided by your physician. It is also imperative to follow-up appropriately. While breast augmentation surgeries are among the most common elective procedure performed, there are still associated risks.

Call us at R.A.M. Plastic Surgery to schedule your consultation today!

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