The Difference Between Subglandular and Submuscular Breast Implant Placement

By: Dr. Angelo Cuzalina


For women looking to achieve their ideal breast size and look, breast augmentation surgery offers a satisfying solution. In 2012, more than 300,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed, making it the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States. Women around the country are more likely than ever to pursue breast implants, making it more common for the every day woman and removing the stigma that it is only for Hollywood actresses. However, with the increased interest in pursuing breast augmentation, there are several important topics to discuss with your surgeon before moving on with surgery. It is not as simple as just dropping in a couple of implants and calling it a day. One thing to consider is: should the implants be placed over or under the pectoral muscle?


Subglandular placement refers to when the breast implants are placed between the breast tissue and the pectoral muscle.

The Pros: Recovery time tends to be shorter and more comfortable when the implant is placed over the muscle and below the breast tissue. You may also notice a slightly more lifted look.

The Cons: Because the implant is placed nearer to the skin’s surface, it may become more visible and feel slightly less natural than if it were placed beneath the muscle. However, this can be solved by using silicone gel implants which have been considered to look and feel more natural than saline in this situation.


Submuscular placement is when the implants are placed beneath both the tissue and the pectoral muscle.

The Pros: The breast tissue and muscle can act as a sort of bra to help support the implant when placed beneath the muscle.

The Cons: Recovery time will typically take a bit longer than with a subglandular augmentation and tends to be slightly less comfortable than being placed above the muscle.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.