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Above or Below the Muscle: Choosing the Right Placement for Breast Implants

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Breast augmentation  surgery is a popular cosmetic procedure in Jacksonville, Florida that allows individuals to enhance their breast size and shape. One of the critical decisions to make when considering breast augmentation is whether to place the implants above or below the chest muscle, a choice that can significantly impact the final results and recovery process. In this blog, we will explore the pros and cons of each placement option to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your aesthetic goals and lifestyle.

Above the Muscle (Subglandular Placement)

Subglandular placement involves positioning the breast implants between the existing breast tissue and the chest muscle. Here are some key factors to consider:


Faster Recovery: Recovery time may be shorter compared to submuscular placement, as there is no muscle manipulation during surgery.

Natural-Looking Cleavage: Subglandular placement can provide a more pronounced cleavage, as the implants are closer to the surface.

Reduced Risk of Animation Deformity: This placement can minimize the risk of animation deformity, a condition where the implants move when the chest muscles contract.


Higher Risk of Rippling: Subglandular placement may result in more visible rippling, especially if you have thin breast tissue.

Potential for Capsular Contracture: There may be a slightly increased risk of capsular contracture, a complication where scar tissue around the implant tightens and causes discomfort or distortion.

Limited Coverage: Implants placed above the muscle may not provide as much coverage, making them more noticeable, especially in slender individuals.

Below the Muscle (Submuscular Placement)

Submuscular placement involves positioning the breast implants beneath the chest muscle. Let's explore the advantages and disadvantages of this option:


Natural-Looking Results: Submuscular placement can provide a more natural appearance, as the implant is partially covered by muscle, creating a smoother transition.

Reduced Risk of Rippling: The muscle layer provides additional coverage, reducing the risk of visible rippling, especially in patients with thin breast tissue.

Lower Risk of Capsular Contracture: This placement may lower the risk of capsular contracture due to the added layer of muscle tissue.


Longer Recovery Time: Recovery may take longer, as the muscle has to heal after being manipulated during surgery.

Limitations on Implant Size: Submuscular placement may limit the size of the implants you can choose, as the muscle can only accommodate a certain volume.

Animation Deformity: Some patients may experience animation deformity, where the implants move when the chest muscles contract. However, this is less common with modern surgical techniques.

Choosing the Right Placement for You

Ultimately, the decision between above or below the muscle placement should be made in consultation with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Dr. Courtney Caplin and Dr. Erik Nuveen will consider your individual anatomy, aesthetic goals, and lifestyle when recommending the best placement option for you. Both Dr. Courtney Caplin and Dr. Erik Nuveen are triple board certified. (ABCS, ABFCS, ABOMS)

It's crucial to thoroughly discuss your expectations and concerns with your surgeon to ensure that the chosen placement aligns with your desired outcome. Remember that both placement options can yield beautiful results when performed by a skilled surgeon.


Deciding whether to place breast implants above or below the muscle is a critical choice in the breast augmentation journey. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and the decision should be tailored to your unique needs and goals. Consult with a qualified cosmetic surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates in Jacksonville, Florida who can assess your individual circumstances and guide you toward the placement option that will help you achieve the beautiful and natural-looking results you desire.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.