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In some ways pectoral implants are the male equivalent of the female breast implant. While the enhanced anatomic structure is different (muscle vs breast mound), the surgical placement of the implant needed to do so is largely the same. Both pectoral and breast implants are placed in the submuscular plane underneath the pectoralis major muscle. While breast implants have the option to also be placed on top of the muscle, pectoral implants do not.

While saline breast implants are placed in a deflated fashion and silicone implants are gel-filled and very deformable, pectoral implants are more solid and usually have a greater surface area footprint. This makes their insertion through desirable small axillary incisions challenging.

Like silicone breast implants, where insertion through small incisions is also desired, pectoral implants can be inserted through an innovative device developed for them. Known as a funnel insertion device, this clever sleeve works on the principle of creating uniform implant deformation by pressure through a narrow diameter opening. It also has the benefit of minimal touching of the implant from the manufacturer’s packaging box to the patient’s tissue pocket.

The technique of pectoral implant insertion using the funnel device is illustrated in the attached short clip video. The pectoral implant is rolled and placed into the funnel in a superior to inferior axial direction. This allows it to unfold once in the pocket in the correct orientation.

Using the funnel insertion device for pectoral implants allows the incision placement to be high up in the axillary fold and to keep the incision length under 7 cms. While this is a slightly bigger incision that that used for saline breast implants and some silicone breast implants, it heals well high up under the axillary region. This is a far superior incisional result that any incision access placed lower.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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