Breast Augmentation, Breast Enlargement: “What About The Muscle?”

Cosmetic breast enlargement or breast augmentation is done to give a women a more attractive, full, and larger shape to the breast. The operation has a very high success rate and is considered extremely safe. The operation is almost always done on an out-patient basis with a reasonably quick recovery. Women interested in the cosmetic operation often ask about “muscle work” or “the muscle” and this educational writing on breast augmentation will review this.

The chest of a women has a large flat fan shaped muscle called the pectorals major muscle beneath the breast. This is the large chest muscle you see in male body builders. This pectoralis muscle is the main muscle for breast enlargement. The serratis anterior muscle and the rectus abdominus muscles play a smaller role for breast surgery, but most of the focus is on the pectoralis muscle.

Breast implants are placed either beneath the pectoralis muscle or on top of it. Placing it beneath the muscle is called sub-muscular placement. Placing the breast implant on top of the muscle is called sub-glandular. This means beneath the breast- BUT on top of the muscle! Breast augmentation technique involves placing the implant in one of these two locations.

Most medical studies show superior results with placing the breast implants beneath the muscle. The muscle provides improved coverage and lower complications. Dr. Saunders emphasizes how the muscle and breast together are an important concept he calls “soft tissue coverage.”
“Soft tissue coverage” is all the muscle, breast, and skin that are covering the breast implant and “hiding” it. The more tissue or coverage that hides the breast implants- the better the result will be.

Imagine a women who naturally was as “flat as a board” and then gets extremely large breast implants. She now is at the beach! She will look fake, round, and not natural. Many people don’t want this result after breast augmentation surgery. She looks like this because she has poor “soft tissue coverage.” She has mainly “skin” covering the breast implants. She will also have a worse “feel” and a worse “look” to the breast with higher complications.

It is placing the implants beneath the muscle that gives us the most “soft tissue coverage” possible. Dr. Saunders tries to get the breast implants behind all the muscle possible that a women has on her chest. These breast augmentation techniques give the best results with the softest breast, most natural result, and lowest complications. Understanding the importance of the muscle is the key to understanding the latest breast augmentation techniques.

More info: Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants

Breast implants placed on top of the muscle sometimes is done. As far as breast enlargement techniques is concerned- this can be a mistake! It is not the first choice for location as described above. Higher complications can occur in this location. These problems might be seeing the breast implants (wrippling) or feeling the breast implants (palpability) more than normal or desired. Options include placing them beneath the muscle or switching to Silicone breast implants. Saline breast implants versus silicone breast implants is discussed in detail in another educational writing. You can link to this now. It is called – Breast Implants Saline or Silicone? For extra discussion- consultation is recommended in this situation.

People interested in breast augmentation cosmetic surgery or breast enlargement cosmetic surgery or other topics such as breast augmentation cost, breast augmentation recovery, or breast augmentation technique should please call the office for an appointment. Dr. Saunders will review your breast surgery with you in detail!

Dr. Saunders is a board certified plastic surgeon who practices exclusively cosmetic surgery. Please check out the breast enlargement before and after photos on our web site. Also, please come in for a complimentary consultation to learn about your choices and options!