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Background: While pectoral implants may be for male chest enhancement they are not the equivalent of breast implants for women. Besides the solid composition of pectoral implants, they are also different than breast implants because they are intended to create a pure muscular augmentation effect. This means that the lateral border of the muscle should never be violated in their placement…a technical detail that if overlooked can create a very undesirable look.

Just like breast implants, however, proper selection of implant shape and dimensions is critical in achieving the desired pectoral augmentation result. The first step in implant selection is determining the outline or perimeter of the pectoral muscle. This is straightforward and it is important that the upper edge of the implant should be just 1 cm below the clavicle and 1 cm more inward than the medial sternal border. Underestimating the needed surface area coverage of the pectoral augmentation is the most common implant selection error.

Determining pectoral implant thickness is less obvious as its effect is less clear than that of breast implants. But in many standard pectoral implants the thickness is fixed as there is not endless implant selections. One helpful technique is actually placing different implants on the chest. This is a lot more helpful than with breast implants because the male chest is flat and there is not extra tissue to distort how it projects.

Case Study: This male had a desire for pectoral implants as he had long been bothered by his limited chest profile. He tried lifting weights to increase his pectoral muscle size but was never successful. His goal was not to look more muscular but to full in the volume deficiency of his chest.

In choosing the pectoral implants for his chest shape, it was important to note he was very tall and his length measurements was close to 18cms with an upper width of 14cms. This made the standard Powerflex style 4 implant of 410ccs the most appropriate for his chest dimensional needs.

Under general anesthesia and through high transaxillary incisions, the pectoral implants were placed in a completely submuscular location. By keeping the lateral pectoral muscle border intact, the full height of the implant could reach up to just under his clavicles.

His postoperative results showed an improved chest shape with elimination of his upper chest flatness.The volume size of over 400ccs may seem large for some men but in the taller male their surface area coverage mandates larger implant volumes to adequately fill it out.

The key in most tall men is to get adequate upper chest fill. This takes a vertically long implant in which the thickest part of the implant should be in the upper half of the implant.

Case Highlights:

1) Augmentation of the male chest by implants must consider the patient’s goals as well as the dimensional needs of their chest.

2) Pectoral implants are designed to augment the pectorals major muscle particularly that of the upper half of the muscle.

3) In tall men the pectoral implant will need to a greater vertical dimension than its width.


Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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