Folds Appearing 1 Year Post Silicone Breast Implants, What's The Cause?

I've had my silicone implants for a little over a year. I recently noticed the skin under my right breast felt tight. When I lift my arms you can see some folds in my skin under the breast. Now there is a ridge or line coming from under my breast down my rib cage and crossing onto my abdomen.You can only see and feel the line if my arms are raised. Could you please tell me what it could be. The implants were placed thru my arm pits and placed subfascially

Doctor Answers 5

Possibly Mondor's cord but should be evaluated.

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Vertical cords extending from the breast to the abdomen are rare. Immediately following surgery, you can develop inflammation in a breast vein known as a Mondor's vein or cord, but at 1 year, this would be unusual. My recommendation is to make an appointment with your plastic surgeon to have it evaluated.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


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The line you describe may be a Mondor's cord which is a superficial phlebitis or inflammation that usually is self limiting and goes away with warm compresses and anti-inflammatories.  But it should be evaluated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Band line under breast after augmentation

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The vertical line you describe under your breast fold heading down to your abdomen is often phlebitis of a superficial vein under the breast, also called Mondor's sign. Have your surgeon take a look as very firm massage over the band with a firm stretch will result is a pop and release of the fold.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

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This is probably Mondor's thrombophlebitis (now resolved to a scar band).

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Usually Mondor's phlebitis occurs when an inframammary incision cuts through superficial epigastric veins, which clot, seal shut, and form a tender firm band visible when the patient raises her arms. This is usually noted in the first few weeks after surgery as swelling goes down, and resolves on its own over time with no concerns. Ibuprofen and a little massage can help it settle faster.

At one year after surgery, and with an axillary (armpit) approach, this is a bit more unusual, but could still be an injured vein(s) that clotted after surgery and have healed with a firm scarred-shut vein band in place of one that used to be soft and carried venous blood flow.

I agree with Dr. Pousti that review with your surgeon is appropriate to reassure you that this is of no concern, and that other potential issues are not in question. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Folds under Breasts, Possible Mondor's Veins?

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Thank you for the question.

It would be best for you to be examined by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon for accurate diagnosis.

Based on the description you may be experiencing Mondor's veins ( superficial thrombophlebitis).  usually,  if this occurs  after breast augmentation surgery it occurs within the few weeks after surgery. Presentation one year after surgery is unusual. Because there are other  “causes” of this phenomenon you should be examined by your primary care physician and/or plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Best wishes.


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.