Article Abstract

Small refinements in breast reconstruction: a technique for inframammary fold creation

Authors: Arthur Ismagilov, Anna Vanesyan, Ilnur Kamaletdinov


Background: In breast reconstructive surgery, the inframammary fold (IMF) is an essential component of breast identity. The lack of the IMF following previous mastectomy requires restoration. We have developed a new IMF reconstruction technique using the posterior sheet (PS) of the expander capsule. This article presents our 10-year experience of performing this original technique during two-stage breast reconstruction.
Methods: Preoperatively, the midline, lateral, and medial borders (MBs) of the implant pocket and the new IMF line were marked. After extracting the expander, the anterior sheet of the expander capsule was removed with the exception of its lowest 2-cm portion. Two needles were placed at the intersection of the new IMF line with the lateral border (LB) of the implant pocket and its MB. Within the pocket, horizontal dissection of the PS of the capsule was performed from one needle to another, after which the sheet was mobilized downward. The mobilized free border of the PS was pulled upward until the inframammary crease was at the new marked location, and then fixed with non-absorbable interrupted sutures to the underlying tissues. An implant was placed over this layer. The covering tissues were then closed.
Results: A total of 321 patients were included. The median age was 38 years (range, 18–58 years). No serious wound complications were observed. Breast-thoracic angle decreased in 21 patients (6.5%), and the distance from the IMF to the lower border of breast segment III was greater than that of the contralateral breast in 14 patients (4.4%).
Conclusion: This technique provides a well-defined IMF without indentations or retraction. The results are stable on long-term follow-up and provide a sharp breast-thoracic angle, which is crucial in creating natural-looking ptosis of the reconstructed breast.