Breast Implant Placement (Overs and Unders)

Breast Implant Over the Muscle or Breast Implant Under the Muscle

Placement of the Breast Implant - Which is best for me?

Few questions seem to create more confusion or controversy among both patients and plastic surgeons than whether the breast implant used in breast augmentation should be placed above the muscle or below the muscle. The first problem is that there is no best answer for any one person. Each person’s own physical characteristics may make the choice for one woman or her plastic surgeon entirely different than the choice for another. Another problem is apparent confusion about the medical terminology that applies to this issue. This section will help you to understand the different breast implant placement options so that when you speak with your plastic surgeon, you will understand his or her recommendation.

The following will give you a general overview, but please click on each link for more detail about each breast implant placement option.

  • Sub-glandular Breast Implant Placement (also known as "Overs"): The breast implants are placed below the breast gland but above the muscle.  The term 'over' derives from the placement of the breast implant over the muscle.
  • Partial Sub-muscular Placement (Also Known as Dual Plan Placement): This placement has many names, but essentially the implant is placed partially below the muscle. This can also be referred to as partial submuscular, partial subpectoral, and, although it's not really correct, submuscular and subpectoral. Sometimes people even refer to this placement as 'unders', but that term should really be used for complete submuscular placement.
  • Complete Sub-muscular Breast Implant Placement (also known as "Unders"):  Here the breast implant is placed completely below the muscle. This is correctly referred to as submuscular or subpectoral.
  • Sub-facial Breast Implant Placement:  There is a thin layer of tissue called the fascia covering the muscles of the chest. Some surgeons will separate the fascia from the muscle and place the breast implant under the fascia. Sub-fascial placement is offered by few plastic surgeons.
  • Advantages and Disadvantages:  see this section for a synopsis of the advantages and disadvantages of each breast implant placement, but be sure to read the links above on each one first!

For more information, you may also want to read the following items:

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