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Deltoid Implants—Shoulder Implants (Deltoid Augmentation)

Deltoid implants are used for correcting unilateral (one side) congenital shoulder deformities (Sprengel’s Deformity), reconstruction of the shoulder caused by trauma or injury, or for improving the aesthetic definition of the deltoid muscle group, a triangular oriented muscle, helping to emphasizing the appearance of the shoulder region.

Who are the best candidates?
Anyone who needs to correct trauma (injury) or congenital disorders (such as Sprengel’s Deformity, Polio, etc.), or wishes to build definition or mass in the deltoid muscle group (shoulders).

Men and women seek deltoid implants for different reasons and are used for both aesthetic (cosmetic) and functional (reconstructive) medical issues. Used largely in men to correct injuries or help those who are generally dissatisfied with the shape/size of their shoulder profile, deltoid implants can mitigate the asymmetric external appearance of an injury or congenital disorder, or can be used to enhance the appearance of the shoulders. Deltoid implants can also be used in women to correct congenital and injury-related issues.

When used for reconstruction of the shoulder region (injury or congenital), deltoid implants can aid in providing natural symmetry, but usually can never completely achieve symmetrical balance. Still, the implants can greatly improve appearance in these instances. When used in aesthetic applications in men, deltoid implants can simulate increased muscle bulk for those men who wish to emphasize the shoulder region, or to achieve anatomical balance. Bodybuilders traditionally seek to improve the dynamics of this hard-to-develop muscle group. Shaped somewhat like a triangle with the structure’s base oriented toward the central body (medial proximity) and the point or insertion of the muscle at the humerus bone (upper arm bone), the muscle has the unique ability to contract in three different regions separate of one another to allow the abduction of the limb (movement of limb away from the central, or medial plane of the body…lifting the arm) in multiple planes . . . backward, perpendicular and forward. The difficulty for body builders is based on the amount of muscle tissue mass with which they are naturally born. Some men are genetically fortunate to have greater deltoid muscle mass and can easily develop the definition of the existing deltoid mass with minimal exertion. Other men can spend a lifetime working on deltoid muscle development and show disappointing results. In these instances, even intensive exercise may not significantly enlarge the deltoid muscle—definition can be improved, but muscle mass will still be lacking. Deltoid implants are made of solid, soft silicone and are dynamically carved to the specific application to address these aforementioned problematic areas.

The procedure is relatively non-invasive and takes approximately two hours using IV sedation (twilight sleep). It begins with creating a 2-3cm (1-2 inch) incision slightly behind the shoulder near the proximity of the junction of the clavicle and scapula bones (near the top of the shoulder slightly behind). The skin is elevated away from the deltoid muscle and the fascia exposed (the facia is a fibrous membrane casing that covers, supports or separates muscle). The fascia is incised and the deltoid body retracted (blunt hemostat dissection) to create a sub-muscular pocket a few centimeters below the medial surface of the deltoid, slightly above the surface of the humerus bone (upper arm bone). An implant is then carved to best suit the application; it is sterilized, and then placed and sutured in the created pocket. Postoperatively, there will be little, if any pain (slight pain in the incision area) but you’ll have a feeling of some pressure much like one would have after an intense muscular workout. Generally pain meds and ice will alleviate any discomfort after surgery.

A few weeks after the procedure you might encounter some difficulty adducting (elevating) the arm but this disappears after approximately a month as the implant seats and the existing deltoid muscle stretches over the implant. Most people can return to daily workouts and exercise after 4-6 weeks, but full healing of the area generally takes about six months. Chance of nerve damage is minimal as the brachial nerve is well removed from the surgical site and chance of infection is also minimal.

Sprengel's Deformity
A congenital disorder, Sprengel's deformity is diagnosed when the medial and lateral sides of the scapula (shoulder blade) have not normally developed and is what is termed a hypoplasia disorder—underdevelopment of a tissue organ or body. The disorder can occur in both males and females although there is some predisposition for it occuring more in females.

before deltoid/shoulder implants photo
Deltoid (Shoulder) Implants Preoperative Photo

This patient shows prior surgical work to adjust the scapula, done by another surgeon. The preoperative photo shows the lack of the deltoid muscle group, on the right side shoulder.

after deltoid/shoulder implants photo
Deltoid (Shoulder) Implants Postoperative Photo

One month after surgery to insert a deltoid implant, the patient shows significant improvement in the shoulder area with the deltoid group on the right now appearing as it should.

 

 

 

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