Breast lateralization refers to breast mounds that have fallen out of their desired position over the chest following breast augmentation with implants. Patients will typically complain of breast mounds that have fallen laterally into their armpits. This is especially evident when the patients are laying on their backs. Breast lateralization occurs as the breast mounds sag off of the chest and onto the upper belly. Once this occurs, the lateral pectoral muscle attachments to the chest wall are not present to support the breast mound and implants.
To fix breast lateralization, the breast mound and implants must be elevated to the proper position on the chest. This is done with a breast lift. This maneuver allows for implants to be repositioned to the chest where they will be supported laterally by the pectoralis muscle attachments to the chest. In addition, the breast pocket must be modified. This requires manipulation of the breast capsule that forms around the breast implants. When breast implants are placed into the breast, the body forms a thin layer of scar referred to as a capsule. When modifying the breast pocket formed following prior implant augmentation, this capsule can be utilized to redefine the new more medialized breast pocket. This is done by stitching up the lateral breast pocket, called capsulorrhaphy. Literally, the frontal and back capsule can be sewn together to close off the lateral breast pocket. In addition, the central or medial pocket capsule can be cut to make more room over the central chest, termed capsulotomy.
If you have noticed that your breasts have fallen and lateralized, you can fix breast lateralization by undergoing breast revision surgery. Whether you need a breast lift and/or breast pocket modification will be determined following your initial breast consultation. Patients will meticulously be measured and a strategical surgical plan will be devised to address what will be required to achieve harmonious breasts that are located on your chest rather on your upper abdomen.
Please see this 26-year-old female who had a correction of her breast lateralization with a breast lift.