Does Pectoral Implants Involve Cutting The Muscle?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting pectoral implants to make my chest bigger. My two very important questions are does the implants distort upon muscle contraction when placed under the muscles? And to create the “pocket” for the implant you need to detach the muscle from the sternum right? Thanks for getting back to me.

A: While there are some similarities between pectoral implants and breast implants, there are difference between them that are more just that one is for men and the other is for women. The implants themselves are different with pectoral implants being a soft but solid silicone elastomer while breast implants are filled with non-solid fillers inside a thin flexible silicone elastomer bag. As such, breast implants can fail and need to be replaced while pectoral implants can not fail and never need to be replaced.

Pectoral implants are put in through an incision in the armpit (just like some breast implants are) and are placed in a completely submuscular pocket. Conversely, breast implants are placed in a partial submuscular pocket often referred to as a dual plane location (part under the muscle and part out of the muscle. When you think of implant distortion with muscle contraction you are thinking of breast implants where half of the implant is not under the muscle and thus distorts when the muscle pushes down on it, causing the implant to move to the side and causing some degree of implant distortion/movement. Neither in breast or pectoral implants is the muscle detached from the sternum at either its origin or insertion. The pockets are created by entering a tissue plane underneath the pectoralis major muscle.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana