The amount of medical knowledge available in the 21st century has allowed for the development of innumerable advancements across medical-related industries. These advancements can be seen in the pharmaceutical industry, in emergency and general medicine, in dermatology, and cosmetic and surgical procedures. This increased knowledge has been pivotal in creating cosmetic surgeries and plastic surgeries that can achieve anything from reconstructing the face or body after a life-altering event, such as massive weight loss, breast cancer, or a car accident, to redesigning a person’s general aesthetics, such as with facelifts or buttock implants. Both men and women are reaping the results and accessibility of these procedures and are experiencing the ability to choose enhancements for themselves like never before.
One of those cosmetic surgery advancements comes in the form of pectoral implants, also known as pectoral augmentation or pec implants. Pectoral implants have been cited as a major contributor to the increase in aesthetic chest surgery in the last several years. These cosmetic implants have gained popularity due to their ability to give new contours to a man’s chest muscles. Men may seek surgery to address underdeveloped, asymmetrical, or otherwise deformed chest muscles due to malformations at birth or to an accident of some sort.
Pectoral implants can also improve chest appearance when exercise is unable to achieve the desired chest definition. For instance, some men, whether they are bodybuilders or regular gym-goers, have a difficult time building pectoral muscles, leaving their otherwise-athletic form lacking full definition. Fortunately, pectoral augmentation offers an alternative to those frustrations in the form of a permanent, natural-feeling implant that enhances a man’s upper body contours, allowing him to obtain a youthful, more defined appearance of the torso.
What to Expect from a Pectoral Implant Surgery
Men who are unsatisfied with their chest appearance can elect to undergo a pectoral implant surgery to enhance the size of their pectoral muscles while simultaneously increasing the definition in their overall chest area. This is very similar to breast augmentation in the way that it offers a lift, size increase, and definition through implants. Pec implants are typically made of a solid silicone gel substance that mimics a relatively natural look and feel of the pectoral muscles. Silicone implants are somewhat soft and flexible, which adds favorably to both their contouring effect and their ability to be customized to fit your specific chest shape.
Placement adds to this effect as well. Well-placed pectoral implants will be situated directly beneath the pectoralis major muscles of the chest to provide you with the most aesthetically pleasing results. Incisions are made in areas that allow the cuts to be barely noticeable – either within the hair-bearing region of the underarm or with a small incision at the border of the areola. This makes it easier for you to show off your new chest contours without having to worry about unsightly scarring. A pocket will be fashioned for the implant to ensure that it will be placed properly and with adequate stability. Sometimes implant surgery is combined with either liposuction or fat transfer as determined by your surgeon. With or without these additional procedures, though, the cosmetic results of your implants will noticeably improve the look of your chest.
Once the placement is complete and sutures have closed the wounds, your plastic surgeon may do fat grafting to provide you with the most natural appearance of the chest. After the surgery, you may need to have drainage tubes inserted to prevent fluid build-up in the chest. You will also need to wear a compression vest for several weeks to reduce the amount of swelling you experience.
Your comfort is a top priority during your pec implant surgery. That will mean the use of general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation as determined on an individual basis by your anesthesiologist and plastic surgeon.
Would I be Considered an Ideal Candidate for a Pectoral Implant Surgery?
Enhancing chest contours for aesthetic purposes was originally popularized by body builders, but the desire for augmented and defined pectoral muscles has become a highly-desired cosmetic male procedure. Men who are self-conscious or frustrated with the look of their pectoral muscles, or overall chest contours, generally make good candidates for receiving pectoral implants. This dissatisfaction can stem from several sources, including athletic types who wish to enhance or improve upon the work they have done at the gym, those with underdeveloped pectoral muscles, and those dealing with asymmetry or other deformities that stem from birth or an accident.
Pectoral implant surgery is not recommended for those who have difficulty maintaining a stable weight as issues with drastic weight loss or weight gain could cause damage to the implants.
What are the Pros and Cons of Having Pectoral Implant Procedure?
Undergoing a male pectoral implant surgery provides you with a permanent, natural-feeling solution to your pectoralis major muscles and overall chest contouring concerns. It also provides the added benefit of improved self-confidence. Keep in mind, though, that individual results will vary.
Select a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. Your surgeon will need to customize your procedure according to your shape, cosmetic goals, and priorities which are influenced by age, profession, sexual habits, and marital and social status. Therefore, who you select plays a pivotal role in your surgical results.
The downsides to a pectoral implant procedure include the possibility of implant movement and the possibility of asymmetry, both of which require revision surgery and further treatment. Although the majority of research has been historically centered on the silicone-filled breast implants of women, the FDA does cite implant revision as a possible downside to surgery. Fortunately, pectoral implants are made of solid silicone, which presents a firmer texture than breast implants, making it less likely that you will need to be as concerned as someone who has undergone a breast augmentation.
Although side effects are not incredibly common with pectoral chest implants, you may experience adverse reactions including the movement of one or both of your implants, asymmetry, numbness in the chest or upper arms, and the possibility of developing muscle spasms. If you feel that these conditions are concerning, contact your surgeon as they may want you to schedule a follow-up visit to check for adverse reactions.
Before & Aftercare
Your plastic surgeon will provide you with a list of their pre-and post-operative instructions during an initial consultation. These should be followed as closely as possible for your safety and results. Once it has been determined that your medical history is free from chronic health concerns and you are in overall good health, you should begin acting on the following guidelines:
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before surgery.
- Stop taking your blood thinning medications 2 weeks before your procedure.
- Stop consuming alcohol for at least 1 week before your pectoral implant surgery.
The care you give yourself after your surgery is equally as important as the before care. The following guidelines provide you with what you need to know to achieve the best post-surgical care:
- Expect to return to non-intensive manual labor jobs after 1 week.
- You will likely have drainage tubes and stitches for the first few weeks following surgery.
- For underarm incisions, refrain from using deodorant for 2 weeks.
- Continue wearing compression garments for 4 weeks or as directed by your surgeon.
- Keep arms below your head for 3-4 weeks.
- Limit, or altogether refrain from, upper body exercises and frequent exercise (especially weightlifting) for 8-12 weeks.
- Return to full normal activity once the healing process is complete.
Patients desiring to correct chest issues and develop better upper body contouring could find that a male pec implant procedure will benefit them greatly. After about 2 months of recovery time, you will reap the benefits of permanent results that will enhance your pectoralis muscles to provide you with the size and definition you have been looking for, but have not been able to achieve. Your new shape will boost your self-confidence and allow you to feel good about your upper body.