Also known as pectoral augmentation or pec implants
Even with frequent exercise, some men find that they are unable to achieve the chest definition that they desire. Pectoral implant surgery is a method for improving chest contour. This procedure has become a popular option, particularly for men who are athletic or go to the gym and want to be able to show off their more sculpted, masculine chests.
These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering pectoral implants. If you want to focus on those specifically unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.
Are you a good candidate for pectoral implants?
Following are some common reasons why you may want to consider pectoral implants:
If you are in good general health and have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.
Pectoral implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Made of solid silicone that is relatively soft and flexible, these implants imitate the look and feel of muscle. Because they are not made from silicone gel or fluid, they will not leak or tear. If you have chest asymmetry or traumatic deformities, custom implants can be created by manufacturers.
Fat grafting to the chest is an alternative to pectoral implants; it can enhance definition and volume in slim patients, improve the muscular contour in athletic patients, and provide a muscular shape in heavier patients. (See section on Fat Transfer).
Most commonly an incision of about two inches is made in the hair-bearing region of your arm pit area (the axilla). After the incisions heal, the resulting scars should be barely visible and are easily concealed.
It's important to choose your surgeon based on:
Members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are experienced and qualified to perform your aesthetic procedure. Learn how to select a surgeon.
After finding a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area who is experienced in performing pectoral Implant surgery, you will need to make an office appointment to set up your consultation. Generally, because of the in-depth nature of the consultation, there is a cost associated with the initial visit.
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Your surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for pectoral implant surgery and clarify what pectoral implants can do for you. Understanding your goals and medical condition, both alternative and additional treatments may be considered. (See related procedures).
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your complete medical history. This will include information about:
Based on your goals, physical characteristics and the surgeon’s training and experience, your surgeon will share recommendations and information with you, including:
For a general list of questions to ask your surgeon about his/her background, find out about plastic surgery safety and to plan your procedure visit the Planning Toolkit.
We developed these questions to help you:
It is important for you to take an active role in your surgery, so please use this list of questions as a starting point for your initial consultation.
Your surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
Pectoral implant surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
What can I expect on the day of pectoral implant surgery?
Your pectoral implant surgery may be performed in an accredited hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility, or office-based surgical suite. Most pectoral implant procedures take approximately two hours to complete but may take longer.
You will probably be permitted to go home after a short observation period unless you and your plastic surgeon have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery.
Your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your postsurgical care, including information about:
See options for short-term recovery locations in Aftercare and Recovery (Planning Toolkit).
Immediately after your pectoral implant surgery
Immediately after surgery your chest muscles may feel tight, and you will be sore and stiff. Your incisions will heal in approximately 14 days and the implant healing will be complete in about 6 weeks.
When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. If the pain is extreme or long-lasting, contact your physician. You will also have some redness and swelling after the surgery. Contact your surgeon to find out if your pain, redness, and swelling are normal or a sign of a problem.
Recovery time frame after pectoral implants
It is vitally important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by your surgeon. This will include information about wearing compression garments, care of your drains, taking an antibiotic if prescribed and the level and type of activity that is safe. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
The results from pectoral implant surgery are long-lasting.
Maintain a relationship with your aesthetic plastic surgeon
For safety, as well as the most attractive and healthy outcome, it’s important to return to your plastic surgeon's office for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you notice any changes in your chest. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon when you have any questions or concerns.
The cost of pectoral implants varies from doctor to doctor and from one geographic area to another.
See the national average for physician fees per procedure.
These numbers only reflect the physician/surgeon fees last year and do not include fees for the surgical facility, anesthesia, medical tests, prescriptions, surgical garments or other miscellaneous costs related to surgery.
Because placement of pectoral implants is elective surgery, insurance does not cover these costs. Many surgeons offer patient financing plans to make the procedure more affordable.
Choose your surgeon based on quality, training, and experience—not cost.
See why ASAPS members are widely recognized for upholding the highest standards in the area of aesthetic plastic surgery by viewing their basic credentials, training, and certifications.
Fortunately, significant complications from pectoral implant surgery are infrequent. Your specific risks for pectoral implant will be discussed during your consultation.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
Other risks specific to pectoral implant are outlined below:
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your board-certified plastic surgeon, both before and after your pectoral implant surgery.