Lift and Augmentation - Sutures to Rib Cartilage. How common are they?

I have recently lost 70 pounds. I am a deflated B+. Want to be full C, small D. Getting full anchor mastopexy with implants. One surgeon has mentioned need to have sutures in rib cartilage at breast fold in order to maintain implant position due to soft tissue from significant weight loss. This scares me a bit. Do these sutures increase my risk for complications? How common are they?

Doctor Answers 6

Support of breast tissue after massive weight loss, what are the options

Hi Momneedslift,Thanks for your question. Anything that can be done to support the breast tissue is a good idea! However, remember that regardless of how it is done that the tissue will relax. No greater increased risk of complications from suture but more pain for sure. The pain decreases in 3-10 days on average based on my patients experience. I would certainly do these sutures based on what you are describing but a physical exam would be necessary to know for sure! Good Luck and congratulations on the weight loss and the new body your going to have soon! 

All the best,

Carlos Mata MD, MBA, FACS

#breastlift #breastaugmentation

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Very common and...

...a good idea.  You can also consider a textured implant to help keep things in good position.  It does impact recovery a little as you will have some more pain in that area for a while.  It will go away as the sutures are absorbed.  Another adjunct is using acellular dermal matrix or ADM but it costs a lot of money. Hope this helps.-JGH

J. Garrett Harper, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Sutures to ribs

This is commonly referred to as an "internal bra". It is useful when operating after massive weight loss for exactly the reason your surgeon described. The main difference you would notice is more sensitivity/discomfort directly at the points of suture fixation for a few more days than normal.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

A Sound Approach in Your Case

Dear Momneedslift, Your surgeon’s recommendation is quite sound. When we see patients who have lost a large amount of weight the tissues are permanently damaged with profound loss of elasticity and structure. We have found that using normal or large size implants has an unacceptably high chance of bottoming out later. Putting in what we call “the safety stitches” is a very good idea at the time of the surgery to prevent a complication. Others might also consider putting in various sub straights such as Strattice or Seri silk but the expense of those products is quite high. Though the stitch going in to the rib cartilage is a bit painful, it is temporary for a few days and should not increase any rate of complications, rather decrease a potential one. I hope this has been helpful. Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Robert D. Wilcox, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

#breastaugmentation #plasticsurgery #breastimplants

Hello Momneedsalift, Congratulations on your weight loss! Thank you for your excellent question. Without the benefit of an in person exam it's impossible to say for sure. Your concerns are important to discuss directly with your board certified plastic surgeon.  He or she will appreciate the open communication and will want to help you. If you seek out a second opinion look for the following:  *Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery -- The gold star symbol  *A member of the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) -- The circle symbol   *A member of the ASAPS (American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) -- the Queen Nefertitti symbol  Feel free to contact our office, it would be our pleasure to answer your questions in person.  My best, Brian S. Coan, MD, FACS  Care Plastic Surgery

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Pocket adjustment

This is sometimes performed in patients with severe laxity. It should not increase your risk of complications.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.