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The “Neosubpectoral” Pocket for the Correction of Symmastia

Spear, Scott L. M.D.; Dayan, Joseph H. M.D.; Bogue, David M.D.; Clemens, Mark W. M.D.; Newman, Michael M.D.; Teitelbaum, Steven M.D.; Maxwell, G Patrick M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: September 2009 - Volume 124 - Issue 3 - p 695-703
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181a8c89d
Breast: Original Articles

Background: Symmastia is a rare but challenging problem to correct. A number of techniques have been proposed, but each has drawbacks in terms of reliability, accuracy, and difficulty. A recently described technique to treat subpectoral symmastia is reported whereby a new pocket is created between the deep surface of the pectoralis major muscle and the anterior surface of the periprosthetic capsule, the boundaries of which are limited by the adherence between the capsule and overlying tissue. The “neosubpectoral” pocket is therefore not a “repair” of the excessively medialized symmastia pocket, but is a new pocket, limited at its perimeter by the patient's own tissues rather than by sutures or a patch.

Methods: A precise neosubpectoral plane is developed between the pectoralis major and the anterior implant capsule wall, with dissection limited to creating only the space necessary for proper placement of the implant. The technical details of this procedure are described. A chart review was conducted of all patients who underwent symmastia correction using this technique since December of 2003 at Georgetown University Hospital in the practices of Steven Teitelbaum, M.D., and G. Patrick Maxwell, M.D.

Results: A total of 23 patients underwent symmastia correction using the neosubpectoral technique. Several of these patients presented for recurrence after failed capsulorrhaphy. There has been no recurrence of symmastia to date in this study. The average follow-up was 22 months. One postoperative hematoma and one seroma occurred. One patient had uncorrected, underdiagnosed inferior malposition from an earlier procedure requiring revision.

Conclusions: The neosubpectoral technique is a method for the correction of symmastia that may offer a more efficient, accurate, and effective solution in a single stage. It is an appealing concept that allows for a site change while maintaining the subpectoral position. This procedure is technically straightforward and may offer a reliable means of correcting many other forms of implant malposition and difficult reconstructions.

Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, Calif.; and Nashville, Tenn.

From the Georgetown University Hospital; David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Received for publication July 24, 2008; accepted March 24, 2009.

Disclosures: Drs. Dayan, Bogue, Clemens, and Newman have no financial incentives. Dr. Spear is a consultant for Lifecell, Ethicon, and Allergan corporations. Dr. Teitelbaum is a consultant for Allergan, Kythera, Lifecell, Axis Three, and Ultrashape. Dr Maxwell is a consultant for Allergan.

Scott L. Spear, M.D.; Department of Plastic Surgery; Georgetown University Hospital; 1st Floor PHC Building; 3800 Reservoir Road, NW; Washington, D.C. 20007;

©2009American Society of Plastic Surgeons