How is Deltoid Implant Surgery Done?

Q: I am interested in getting deltoid implants. I realize this is a new procedure. What can you tell me about it? Thank You

A:  Deltoid augmentation is a procedure for those that wish to have more bulk and definition in the area of the upper arm. Previously used in patients in need of shoulder reconstruction after trauma or cancer surgery, deltoid prostheses have been used to safely produce bulk in the shoulder region. Soft solid silicone implants can be fashioned (there is no established deltoid implant shape) to not only give bulk to the deltoid region, but also to give it more definition and shape. This is an example of a ‘muscle-building’ implant like that of the pectoral or gluteal muscles.

The deltoid is the muscle that forms the rounded contour of the shoulder. It covers both the front and back of the shoulder and has its name because it is in the shape of the Greek letter, Delta or triangle. It is a common injection site for injections and most people have probably had an injection there at least once in their life. It originates from the bones of the shoulder (clavicle and scapula) and crosses across the shoulder area to eventually be inserted by a thick tendon to the humerus bone of the upper arm.

The deltoid implant is placed through an incision on the back of the shoulder just above the armpit where the lower edge of the muscle is. The fascia (outer covering of muscles) that covers the muscle is then cut and a pocket made for the implant. The implant is then placed in the pocket just below the fascia of the muscle. The muscle lining is then sutured as well as that of the overlying skin. Once healed, the implant forms a permanent lining (capsule) which keeps it in place permanently. Recovery is largely one of swelling and muscle discomfort. One should not work out for a month after surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana