Breast Implant Positions

Implants can be placed in any one of four positions.

Each position has its specific advantages. Which implant position is best for you will depend on your breast appearances, breast measurements, physical activities and the ‘look’ you’re after.

1. Sub-Muscular (‘under the muscle’)

The implant is placed behind  the pectoral muscle.

The advantages of this position are:

  • It creates a more natural appearance because the muscle provides additional coverage over the edges of the implant and thereby helps to avoid a ‘stuck on’ look and visible ‘step’ along the upper edge of the implant.
  • There is less chance of visible Rippling/Wrinkling.
  • There is less chance of Capsular Contracture.
  • There is less interference with Mammograms.
  • There is less chance of interference with future breast feeding.
  • The implants are further away from the breast tissue and are therefore less likely to be involved in any breast diseases or be damaged during any fine needle biopsy of a breast lump.
Breast Implant

2. Sub-Glandular, (‘in front of the muscle’) – sometimes called ‘Pre-Pectoral’

The implant is placed immediately under the breast tissue itself, between it and the underlying pectoral muscle.

It is preferred to sub-muscular:

  • In those with impending or mild sagging of the breasts, constricted lower breast poles and tuberous breast deformities.
  • In those engaged in heavy, repetitive pectoral muscle exercises e.g. body builders, weight lifters.

However, it is not a good option for those women with thin chest wall tissues as the insufficient coverage of the implant edges would create a ‘stuck on’ look.


3. Sub-Fascial (‘in front of the muscle’ but ‘under its sheath’)

  • This is simply a variant of the ‘in front of the muscle’ position with basically the same advantages and disadvantages.

4. ‘Dual Plane’ Placement

A combination of positions 1 and 2 where the upper half of the implant is placed ‘under the muscle’ and the lower half is in direct contact with the lower breast:

  • The upper half of the implant is placed ‘under the muscle’ to help hide any ‘step’ along the implant’s upper edge that could occur if the implant was entirely ‘in front of the muscle’
  • The lower half of the implant is in direct contact with the breast to provide ‘fill’ and ‘lift’.
  • This implant position is preferred in special situations such as mild sagging, constricted lower poles and ‘tuberous breasts’ when there is insufficient chest wall tissue coverage to allow the implant to be placed entirely ‘in front of the muscle’.  Whereas mild sagging, constricted lower poles and ‘tuberous breasts’ could be equally corrected with an implant ‘in front of the muscle’, the latter position could produce a ‘stuck on’ look due to visibility of the implant edges in those with insufficient chest wall tissue coverage.