By Tom Pousti, MD
One of the most common complications after breast augmentation surgery is implant mal-position. This occurs when the implant is in an incorrect position on the chest wall. This may include incorrect position of the implant superiorly (“riding high”), inferiorly (“bottoming out”), medially (symmastia or “uni-boob”) or laterally (falling outward into the axilla). Dr. Pousti, at Pousti Plastic Surgery, has corrected these problems for many patients.
Symmastia (or medial mal-position or “uni-boob”) occurs when the breast implants move too far toward the midline — the two implants may actually touch one another in the center of the chest. If the horizontal muscle that is connected to the sternum and goes across the implant is cut during surgery, then the implant can move toward the middle of the chest. Symmastia may result from overly aggressive attempts to alter chest wall anatomy trying to increase cleavage for patients. This outcome is made worse by use of larger implants in thin patients, and is a problem for implants over or under the muscle, though sub muscular implant placement allows the muscle to provide some softening of the transition to the cleavage area from the augmented breast mound. Correction involves use of internal sutures of the capsule around the breast implants. Often, it is necessary to expand the breast implant pocket laterally (outwardly) to allow for correct placement of the implants.