Other associated terms: Pec Implants, Pectoral Implants, Male Chest Augmentation
Pectoral Augmentation, as you may have guessed, is the male version of what women refer to as breast augmentation surgery (with implants). The primary purpose of this surgery is cosmetic in nature and designed to improve the appearance of the male chest area. Solid silicon implants are used and will give the chest a “bulked-up” appearance that would otherwise be obtained through extensive exercise.
The main benefit with pectoral augmentation is the extra mass that is added to the chest area for a more sculpted appearance. This procedure is usually requested by those men who are unable to achieve this sculpted effect through exercise or who don’t have the time to devote to intensive exercise. This procedure is also popular with body builders who wish to enhance the appearance that their workouts have provided.
Pectoral augmentation is less invasive than the female equivalent. During breast augmentation, surgeons have the option to separate muscle from the ribs and/or the breast bone, to insert an implant between the muscle and bone. However, with men, the muscle and it’s connectors to the bones are not touched.
The main difference between a pectoral augmentation and a breast augmentation is that muscles are not detached from the rib cage or breast bone as they are during a female breast augmentation implant surgery (breast enlargement). As a result, the procedure is considerably less surgically invasive.
Depending on the size of the implants and his tolerance for pain, the pectoral augmentation could be performed under either general anesthesia or under light sedation. However, general anesthesia is usually recommended in order to control relaxation that might be otherwise compromised if the patient is awake during surgery.
After patient sedation, the plastic or cosmetic surgeon makes a small incision in the armpit and then maneuvers an endoscope through the incision to create a pocket behind the pectoralis muscle. The implant, a solid silicon, is then slid through into this pocket. The surgeon removes the endoscope and the cavity is then sutured.
Pectoral implants are made with silicone, never saline or similar materials. Since no liquid is found in pectoral implants, leaking fluid and/or bursting while still in the body is a non-issue. Men that may have concerns about the use of silicone should explore other plastic surgery options.
Male chest implantation, an outpatient procedure, generally takes an hour to perform; with many patients going home the same day. Sutures and/or any dressings due to the procedure will be removed within a few days. Any scarring is hidden in the underarm/armpit area, and typically disappears after a month.
There should be someone to drive you home after surgery due to the effects of anesthesia and/or prescribed pain medication. You will also be given a list of important post-operative instructions to follow. These will need to be followed explicitly, since an infection of a pectoral implant can result in lymph, lung, heart and blood infections as well. Symptoms of a pectoral infection can include asymmetrical appearance or if the implants may appear to have migrated. A less than 1% chance of infection exists if men make it the first two months after pectoral implants with no signs of infection. Typically, the patient will not be allowed to lift weights or perform heavy exercise for at least four weeks after the surgery.
Risks Associated With Pectoral Augmentation Surgery
Like any type of plastic surgery, there are standard risks associated with pectoral augmentation. The most common problem with pectoral implants is displacement. Most implants will displace a millimeter or two naturally after surgery, but the surgery may have to be redone if the implant migrates up to the collarbone or beneath the armpit.
There’s a chance that a seroma (puss and/or other bodily fluids) or a hematoma (blood that has pooled) could develop. In either case additional surgery may be necessary to drain the excess fluids from the area around the implant.
Numbness may also be present, following surgery. This usually goes away in a few weeks, but in some cases, may be permanent.
In general, the best way to avoid most complications is to choose a reputable, experienced plastic surgeon and to make sure that you do not traumatize or displace the implants by exercising too soon after the procedure.
The four major factors that will influence the total cost of pectoral augmentation are: the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia, facility fees and region where the surgery is performed.
With all of these variables taken into consideration and accounted for, a reasonable estimate as to the overall costs that will be associated with your pectoral implant surgery will range from roughly $3,000 to $5,000.
10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Regarding Pectoral Augmentation
• What are my realistic expectations as to the outcome of the surgery?
• In what type of facility is the implant surgery performed and is it accredited?
• What technique is recommended and what are the specifics of that technique?
• What kind of anesthesia will be used during the surgery?
• What are the total surgery costs and what is the breakdown for those costs?
• What is the surgeon’s level of experience in performing pectoral implant surgery?
• What percentage of patients experience complications with pectoral implant surgery and what are the most common complications?
• What is the surgeon’s policy about correcting or repeating the procedure if the first surgery does not meet agreed upon results (costs, etc.)?
• What should I expect, post-operatively, in terms of scaring, soreness, bruising, restricted activity level, and so on?
• Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked or suspended?