What is the Difference between Over the Muscle and Under the Muscle Breast Implants?

March 14th, 2018

So, you’re in the plastic surgeons’ office,  you’ve decided you want breast implants and you’ve discussed size, shape and position. You’ve probably thought a lot about where the implant will be placed and now its time to discuss this with your surgeon. Your surgeon will advise the best place for the implant to go according to the amount of breast tissue you have and your body type.


Over the Muscle (Sub-Glandular) Placement

This is where implants are positioned in front of the pectoral muscles, between the breast tissue and chest muscle. It can make augmentation more obvious than unders, especially for those with smaller breasts, as they’ll have less tissue for the implants to rest behind. However, breasts will appear more rounded and voluminous.


  • You may have less discomfort after surgery and a shorter recovery time.
  • The implants don’t lose their shape during exercise.
  • Can give a fuller rounded appearance in people with more breast tissue to start with.



  • There’s a higher chance of noticeable rippling.
  • Capsule contracture rates, where implants contract causing them to become hard and misshaped, are higher.
  • Overs can potentially interrupt mammograms, so multiple tests may have to be taken.


Under the Muscle (Sub-Muscular) Placement

This is where implants are positioned underneath the pectoral muscles, found in front of the ribcage. The implant is inserted within a space between the ribs and the muscle. Breasts appear more natural, as implants are hidden behind your muscle tissue.


  • There are reduced risks of rippling, capsular contracture, scarring and bottoming out.
  • It causes less issues with mammograms.
  • Gives a more natural shape in woman with little breast tissue to start with.



  • The procedure leads to greater discomfort and a longer recovery time.
  • Up to 6 weeks after surgery, breasts may appear higher than desired.
  • Exercise or flexing can cause implant distortion.


Hopefully this post has helped you decide which option you’d prefer. Your plastic surgeon can further help, talking you through your body type and health history, as well as implant types and sizes to find the best choice for you.