Having great interest in Breast Reconstruction, Aesthetic Breast, and Revision Breast surgery has afforded me ample opportunity to study the manipulation of the infra-mammary fold and its relation to the perception of breast symmetry.
Two determinants of breast symmetry in photographs or when the patient looks in the mirror is the position of the nipple areola complex (NAC) and the relative distance/inter-relationship between the distance of the NAC to the infra-mammary fold. I have found that the creation of the neo-supracapsular pocket allow the operating surgeon great opportunity to change fold position while maintaining a natural breast contour.
Lifting the infra-mammary fold can be quite challenging for the surgeon and frustrating for the patient if not positioned correctly. If the folds are mal-positioned, then the bra does not contact the base of each breast at the same location which is often frustrating for the patient. Correction of the fold position alone can often change not only the position of the NAC, but also the position of the NAC in relation to the center of the implant which can make the asymmetry worse. Therefore, to optimize breast symmetry the surgeon will have to calculate the distance from the fold to the NAC and try to adjust each breast to reach a common length. At the same time, similar or dissimilar implants must be selected to optimize volume symmetry as well as centralize the NAC on the implant base.
I have found great utility in the use of the “neo-supracapsular” pocket, not previously described for the correction of this deformity and in breast cancer reconstruction. The neo-supracapsular pocket allows the surgeon the opportunity to correctly position the fold, yet also have control of the contour of the breast without creating dimpling, blunting the fold, or restricting the NAC to fold distance.