Partial Submuscular Breast Implant Placement

Reviewed by and by Michael Olding, MD, FACS

In partial submuscular implant placement, the implant is placed behind the breast tissue and partially under the pectoral and other chest muscles.

During the procedure, the lowest part of the pectoralis major muscle is cut so that the upper part of the implant sits deeply beneath the muscle, but the lower part sits beneath the breast (subglandular).

Breast Anatomy Related to Partial Submuscular Implant Placement

A woman's breast is soft tissue that extends over and beyond the pectoral muscles of the upper chest. During the procedure, the lowest part of the pectoralis major muscle is cut so that the upper part of the implant may sit beneath and deeply into the muscle. However, the lower part of the implant sits beneath the breast (subglandularly).

The breast comprises a complex group of tissues, including glandular, fatty, and fibrous tissues. The breast is positioned over the pectoral muscles of the chest wall and is attached to the chest wall by fibrous strands called Cooper's ligaments. The glandular and fatty tissue in the breast is what gives the breast the soft consistency. This tissue extends throughout the breasts, surrounding the glands and fibrous tissues.

Consult a Surgeon

A board-certified plastic surgeon can answer your questions and help you decide which type of breast implant procedure is best for you.

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About the Reviewer of This Article

Michael Olding, MD, FACS, of Washington, D.C. is board-certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgery and the National Capital Society of Plastic Surgeons, where he was elected president. Dr. Olding specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery procedures and clinically related activities in cosmetic surgery, cosmetic facial surgery, breast augmentation and reduction, rhinoplasty, body contouring, liposuction and melanoma. He is also one of the area experts on soft-tissue fillers (Restylane, Sculptra and Botox). He received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Kentucky in 1980 and completed his internship at Cornell Medical Center. He completed his fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery at McGill University in Montreal. Dr. Olding maintains hospital staff privileges at George Washington University Medical Center, Sibley Hospital and Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. More about Dr. Michael Olding