Under-the-muscle and over-the-muscle breast implants: which are best?

Written by: Mr Aftab Siddiqui
Edited by: Conor Dunworth

In his latest article, renowned Manchester-based plastic surgeon Mr Aftab Siddiqui explains the difference between over-the-muscle and under-the-muscle breast implants. He offers his expert insight into both types of breast augmentation, explaining the pros and cons of both.


What is the difference between under-the-muscle and over-the-muscle breast implants?

Breast augmentation surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. One of the main decisions you will need to make when deciding on implants is whether to choose over-the-muscle or under-the-muscle implants.

Each type of implant has its own unique benefits and disadvantages. Understanding the differences between over-the-muscle and under-the-muscle implants can help you select the best one for your individual needs.

Over-the-muscle implants are placed directly above the chest muscle (Pectoralis major muscle) and are often referred to as subglandular implants. Under-the-muscle implants, on the other hand, are placed beneath the chest muscle and are known as submuscular or subpectoral implants. Knowing the differences between the two types can help you make an informed decision when considering breast augmentation surgery.


Which type of breast implant placement is more natural looking?

Choosing the right type of breast implant placement is important for achieving a natural-looking result. Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Submuscular placement is generally the preferred choice among many patients, as it provides greater coverage and a more natural look and feel. By positioning the implant beneath the chest muscle, it is less likely to be visible or cause rippling. It also helps create a more symmetrical appearance and can help prevent the implant from shifting. 

Subglandular placement is a good option for those who want a more pronounced look and don’t mind the implant being more visible. It is also a faster and less invasive procedure, making it a better choice for those looking for faster recovery and return to normal activities. However, some patients may experience rippling with certain implants and shifting with this type of placement.

Ultimately, both types of implant placement can provide natural-looking results, so the best choice will depend on your individual goals and preferences.


What are the pros and cons of under-the-muscle vs over-the-muscle breast implant placement?

Each type of breast implant comes with various pros and cons:


Pros of submuscular breast implant:

  • Less risk of infection.
  • More tissue cover for implants
  • Less visible implants
  • Less likely to ripple or rippling to be visible
  • Natural results 


Cons of submuscular breast implant placement:

  • Longer recovery
  • Longer time for implants to drop to a natural position
  • Risk of high-riding implants
  • Pain and tingling sensation
  • Affects exercise with weights 


Pros of subglandular breast implant placement:

  • Natural results
  • More projection is achieved
  • Natural consistency of tissues
  • Better cleavage 


Cons of subglandular breast implant placement:

  • Higher risk of implant movements
  • Visible implants
  • Higher risk of capsular contraction with larger implants 

Mr Aftab Siddiqui's results can be seen by clicking here.


How does muscle placement affect the recovery time for breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation recovery is a process that can differ greatly from one person to the next. While the overall recovery timeline is fairly consistent, the specifics of the patient's experience are determined by a variety of factors, including the placement of the muscle.

The way the muscle is manipulated during a breast augmentation surgery can have a significant impact on the recovery process and ultimately determine the success of the procedure. By understanding the role of muscle placement in breast augmentation recovery, patients can more accurately plan for their recovery and ensure the best outcome possible.


How does muscle placement affect the long-term shape and appearance of breast implants?

The decision to get breast implants is a big one, and often involves a great deal of thought and research. Knowing the shape and size you want is just the beginning. It’s important to understand how the muscle placement of the implants will affect the long-term shape and appearance of the breasts.

From implant placement techniques to the types of implants available, there are a few key things to consider when exploring this topic. The best way to ensure you get the results you want is to have a thorough understanding of how the muscle placement of the implants will affect the final look and feel of the breasts. With a better understanding of the anatomy of the body and the different types of implants available, you can make an informed decision about the best implant placement for your body type.


Mr Aftab Siddiqui is a widely-renwoned plastic surgeon based in Manchester. You can read more about his expertise on over-the-muscle and under-the-muscle breast implants here. If you would like to book a consultation with Mr Siddiqui, you can do so today via his Top Doctors profile. 

By Mr Aftab Siddiqui
Plastic surgery

Mr Aftab Siddiqui, who practises at the Breast and Body Clinic, is a highly experienced consultant plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Manchester, Chester and Preston, who posseses a special interest in mummy makeover, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), breast reduction, breast uplift, liposuction, fat transfers, skin cancer surgery, hand surgery and labiaplasty.

Mr Siddiqui qualified in 2000 and has more than 20 years of experience in medicine. He undertook both a clinical fellowship at St Andrew's Centre for Plastic Surgery specialising in plastic and hand surgery and a further research fellowship in hand surgery at Anglia Ruskin University in 2015. He became a specialist in plastic surgery in 2006 and is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Plastic Surgery). He is a full member of the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (BAPRAS), British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) American Association of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).

He is a recognised expert on perfect breasts and has extensive experience of a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. He holds a key position within the NHS with plastic surgery in reconstruction and trauma cases, which includes breast cancer, skin cancer, lower limb trauma and hand trauma. Mr Siddiqui is regularly invited to present and speak at conferences across the world. He is also a respected educator, leading lectures for colleagues and medical students at a national level.

Mr Siddiqui has an extensive list of publications that he has contributed to, demonstrating his excellent knowledge in the field of cosmetics and plastic surgery. He is renowned amongst fellow colleagues and his patients for his surgical expertise and excellent patient care. For more information, visit Mr Siddiqui's website: https://breastandbody.co.uk/

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