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Difficulties with Subpectoral Augmentation Mammaplasty and Its Correction: The Role of Subglandular Site Change in Revision Aesthetic Breast Surgery

Lesavoy, Malcolm A. M.D.; Trussler, Andrew P. M.D.; Dickinson, Brian P. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: January 2010 - Volume 125 - Issue 1 - p 363-371
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181c2a4b0
Cosmetic: Original Articles

Background: Difficulties that arise with subpectoral breast implant placement include the following: malpositioning of the implant; improper superior contouring; and unnatural movement with chest muscle contraction. Correction of these deformities is easily achieved by removal of the subpectoral implant, resuspension of the pectoralis major muscle to the chest wall, and reaugmentation with a new implant in the subglandular plane. This study defines a correction modality for the adverse results of subpectoral implant placement in augmentation mammaplasty.

Methods: Pectoralis major resuspension was performed in 36 patients undergoing revision aesthetic breast surgery from 1995 to 2006. All patients had previously placed subpectoral breast implants performed elsewhere with unwanted movement, malposition, and/or capsular contracture. All patients underwent explantation of the breast implant, modified capsulectomy, pectoralis major resuspension, and reaugmentation of the breast in the subglandular position. In cases of symmastia, medial capsulodesis and sternal bolster sutures were used. Patients were evaluated for resolution of symptoms, satisfaction, and complications.

Results: Malposition (62 percent), capsular contracture (53 percent), and symmastia (10 percent) were the most common indications for revision, but 100 percent of patients were dissatisfied with abnormal breast movement. The average follow-up time was 20 months. The silicone implants were commonly used, with an average volume change decrease of 27 cc. Unwanted implant movement was eliminated completely (100 percent), symmastia was corrected (100 percent), and capsular contraction was significantly decreased in each respective group. Patient satisfaction with this procedure was high, with a low complication rate.

Conclusions: Pectoralis major resuspension can be performed successfully in aesthetic breast surgery. It can be applied safely to correct problems of unwanted implant movement, symmastia implant malposition, and capsular contraction. The use of silicone gel implants in a novel tissue plane may be beneficial in this diverse, reoperative patient population.

Los Angeles, Calif.; and Dallas, Texas

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, and the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Received for publication December 8, 2008; accepted July 16, 2009.

Presented at the 76th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in Baltimore, Maryland, October 26 through 31, 2007.

Disclosures: The authors have no financial interests to declare in relation to the content of this article. All sources of funds supporting the completion of this article are under the auspices of the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.

Malcolm A. Lesavoy, M.D., 16311 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 555, Encino, Calif. 91436-2131,

©2010American Society of Plastic Surgeons