Anatomy and clinical significance of pectoral fascia

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Dec;118(7):1557-1560. doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000237002.89761.98.


Background: The submuscular or subglandular plane for breast augmentation is widely used. Recently, the subfascial plane for breast augmentation was reported by some authors who achieved satisfactory results. The anatomy of the pectoral fascia in Chinese female corpses was investigated to explore the possibility for a location of augmentation mammaplasty under the pectoral fascia.

Methods: The anatomy of 30 side pectoral fascias on 15 corpses was studied. The thicknesses of the pectoral fascias were measured.

Result: The pectoral fascia is attached to the clavicle and sternum and covers the pectoralis major muscle. It is continuous inferiorly with the fascia of the abdominal wall. Furthermore, the pectoral fascia extends laterally to be continuous with the fascia of the back. The pectoral fascia, which can be successfully dissected bluntly along the subfascial plane, varies in thickness from 0.2 to 1.14 mm. Perforating branches of vessels and nerves emerging from the pectoral fascia are located mainly at the medial lateral and lower fascias.

Conclusions: The pectoral fascias can be dissected bluntly along a subfascial plane with the pectoral fascia intact. The potential pocket between the pectoralis major muscle and the pectoral fascia can be used as a place for breast augmentation. The pectoral fascia may provide the breast implant with more soft-tissue coverage.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cadaver
  • Fascia / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / methods
  • Thorax