What is the best placement for breast implants on a female athlete?
By: Douglas Leppink, M.D.
When considering breast augmentation, choosing an implant type and style is a unique and personal process for every patient. Choosing an implant position, whether under the breast gland only or under the breast gland and partially under the pectoralis major muscle, is also based on a patient’s anatomy and lifestyle. Patients with quite full breasts do well with implants placed in either position, although studies have shown that the sub-muscular position allows for better mammograms and perhaps a lower rate of capsular contracture (a tight scar forms around the implant).Thin patients, however, often benefit from positioning the implant under the muscle for cosmetic reasons, as the muscle provides some extra “padding” on the inside and top of the breast to make the contours look more natural. Saline implants are more likely to feel “firmer” and “rippled” than silicone, so any additional coverage is a good thing. Muscle contraction can result in a change in breast shape due to the movement of the muscle over the implant, but this is usually not a problem unless posing during a body-building competition. Studies have shown that sub-muscular placement does not affect the strength of the pectoralis major muscle.
Learn about exercise with breast augmentation.
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