Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m very interested in deltoid implants. I have a very narrow biacromial width and an ectomorphic body type. Tendonitis in the wrists for years has lead me to be unable to engage in hypertrophy training with free weights so I’m looking for an alternative solution to help overcome the insecurity that comes from having narrow shoulders. How much width can be added onto the shoulders and how soon would I be able to have the surgery.
A: When considering deltoid implants, it is important to know the exact location that the deltoid muscle needs to augmented. While the deltoid muscle forms the rounded contour of the shoulder, it really as three distinct sets of fibers or heads. The front head extends from the lateral third of the collar bone over the front part of the shoulder. The lateral head arises from the acromion process and covers the middle portion of the shoulder. The posterior head extends from the spine of the scapula and covers the back part of the shoulder/upper arm. While all three heads can be independently augmented, most patients are interested in the lateral head as this creates the greatest shoulder width. Incision location is best done at the back-shoulder junction and the implant placed in a subfascial location.
There are no truly preformed deltoid implants although they can be custom made based on the patient’s measurements. As an alternative, calf implants can be used as they are preformed and the medium size can add up to 1.5 cms in width per side and increase the muscle mass by over 100 grams of muscle volume.
Dr. Barry Eppley