In this entry, I aim to provide further insight into breast implant positioning (into the implant “pockets”).
There are various locations for the breast implant to be placed. Beneath the breast are your pectoralis (chest) muscles, and these consist of the larger pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor muscles; with regard to breast implants, we are more concerned with the larger of these – the pectoralis major.
When the breast implant is placed under the breast tissue but over the muscle then it is said to be placed in the “subglandular” or “submammary” pocket.
If under the chest muscle, then it is called “subpectoral” or “submuscular”. I would like to clarify that when the implant is placed under the chest muscle, it will not be completely covered by the muscle. This is simply because in every human being, the muscle starts from the collar bone and stops above the crease under the breast. This means that, even if the implant is placed in the submuscular pocket, the lower edge has no muscle cover.
Note that this is different from what is called putting the implant “partly under the muscle”. In cosmetic surgery, putting the implant under “part of the muscle” is called “dual plane” pocket. In this situation, the surgeon will place the lower part of the implant under the breast tissue and over the lower part of the chest muscle, whilst the upper part of the implant is pushed under the muscle.
To reiterate, when the implant is put in a submuscular pocket, it would be placed under the muscle – but the muscle does not completely cover the whole implant. Whereas when the implant is placed “partly under the muscle” then only the upper part of the implant is covered by muscle and the lower part of the implant lies over the lower part of the muscle and under the breast tissue.
** NOTE: This blog entry is not intended to replace the information that your surgeon or GP will provide for you.**