When planning your breast augmentation procedure, one decision you'll have to make is whether to have a subglandular or submuscular procedure. You'll need to decide if you should have the implant placed under the breast tissue or go deeper and have it set underneath the muscle. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Here's more information to help you make the best decision for you.
When Submuscular Implantation is the Better Option
In a submuscular procedure, the implant is placed deep in the breast underneath the muscle. To access the area, the doctor must cut the muscle tissue and make space for the saline or silicone bag. This typically results in a greater amount of pain and longer recovery times.
However, since the implant is covered by the muscle and the breast tissue is pushed forward, breasts tend to look and feel more natural. Additionally, any rippling in the bag will be less obvious, and the risk of capsular contracture (when the breast hardens) is significantly reduced.
Submuscular implantation can be performed on anyone, but it is probably the best option for women who have small amounts of breast tissue as the muscle will do a better job of disguising the silicone or saline bag. Additionally, if you have a family history of breast cancer or have had it in the past, this procedure allows for more accurate mammograms, which is critical for detecting the disease.
Interestingly enough, the actual surgery takes less time than the one for subglandular implantation. As noted previously, though, your recovery time will be longer.
When Subglandular Implantation is Preferred
With subglandular implantation, the bag is placed underneath the breast tissue only. Though the surgery takes a bit longer, you'll recover a lot faster and experience less pain than you would with the submuscular procedure.
Since the silicone or saline bag is much closer to the skin, the breasts tend to look less natural, and there's a higher risk any wrinkling in the bag will show through the breast tissue. This is why this procedure is best done on women who have quite a bit of breast tissue that can help cover any imperfections in the surface of the implant.
Subglandular implants are also more beneficial to women who have droopy breasts, as placing the implants under the tissue can make breasts look perkier and delay the need for a breast lift. However, if you wish to change the position of the implant at a later date to a submuscular level, then you would have to get a breast lift at that time to ensure your breasts rest on top of the bag.
For more information about implant placement or to have other questions about breast implants answered, contact a cosmetic surgeon.