Is It True That Lowering the Inframmary Fold Will Cause Bottoming Out?

I had bottoming out from my breast augmentation, My surgeon lowered the inframmary fold and within 21/2 months they bottomed out. Why the hell would he lower the fold, when most of you are saying you never should do that. He is a board certifed surgeon.

Doctor Answers 11

Bottoming out of breast implants

A common error that leads to an unnatural appearance after breast augmentation, even with implants of an ideal size, is inadequate lower pole dissection and/or inadequate release of the pectoralis major origin just above the inframammary fold. As a result the implants sit too high and appear excessively full in the upper poles (the area above the nipple-areola complex), while the lower poles - which should be the fullest area of the breast - are underfilled. Inadequate muscle release may also result in bizarre-appearing breast implant animation when the pec major muscle contracts. In some cases this may result in one or both of their implants jumping up literally to the level of a patient's collarbones - an alarmingly unnatural look, and one that is totally avoidable 


A shaped form stable breast implant can give the patient the lowest risk of fold and ripples in the lower pole, the lowest risk of a visible transition between natural breast tissue and implant  (sometime refereed to as a double bubble) and the lowest risk of breast implant malposition with the breasts bottoming out.  I think there is a performance difference between form stable breast implants. Consult with plastic surgeon who have experience and expertise perfuming this particular procedure. 

In many breast  augmentation patients, the inframammary fold needs to be lowered in order to allow the implant to rest at a level that appears natural relative to the position of the nipple and areola. Ideally the implant should be centered directly behind the nipple-areola complex (NAC). In profile, the natural-appearing breast is not convex in the upper pole, and an excessively convex and overly full upper pole is a dead giveaway that a breast implant sits below the skin. In addition, inadequate release of the inferior origin of the pectoralis major will allow the muscle to hold the implant in too high a position, and may even cause the implant to displace upwards (as high as the collar bone in some patients) when the muscle contracts. Patients with this problem require reoperation to release the inferior origin of the pec major and/or the inframammary fold.

Likewise, if the inframammary fold is lowered too far, the augmented breast will appear 'bottomed out', with an excessively full lower pole, an empty upper pole, and a nipple/areola that appears to sit too high on the breast - another situation with a distinctly unnatural appearance, and one that requires surgical correction: repair of the inframammary fold(s). 

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Lowering the inframammary fold

Breast shapes vary and there are different techniques to create the ideal breast shape.  If a breast is smaller or has an uneven inframammary fold, lowering the inframammary fold may be recommended when placing an implant.  There are many reasons an implant can "bottom out".  Lowering the inframammary fold increases the risk of it bottoming out, but that does not mean it should not be performed to obtain a better breast shape.  Hope this helps.  

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Lowering fold...

I disagree.  I lower the fold as a nearly routine practice in breast augmentation surgery.  Just as the nipple needs to be correctly placed over the implant, and this changes depending on the implant selection...the same is true for the fold.  Now, there are cases where I will reinforce the fold to prevent bottoming out, and there are cases where I'l select a different implant depending on the resulting dimensions...but, very simply, a larger breast has a lower fold and I believe this is an integral part of getting a good result on most patients.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Lowering the inframammary fold and bottoming out

Hello and thank you for the question.

On a case-by-case basis, there are indications to lower the inframammary fold in breast augmentation. Changing the fold position is sometimes necessary in order to create balance and symmetry, as a mild and relatively un-noticeable asymmetry in a virgin breast can translate into a significant asymmetry following augmentation. Without seeing the specifics of your particular case, it is difficult to make an accurate assessment.

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Lowering the Inframammary fold and "bottoming out"

There are instances where a lowering of the inframammary fold (IMF) is entirely appropriate and necessary - without photos there is no way to give you more specific information.  However, this needs to be done cautiously and carefully. Normally this would be discussed with you prior to your operation.  Discuss this with your doctor and perhaps you can get more information regarding your operation.

Fortunately, there are operations to correct this, but these are operations.  Deciding on how to proceed can be a challenge, but if you submit photos, perhaps you can get additional direction.

Best of luck

Vincent Marin, MD

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Inframammary fold and bottomed out implants

I make every effort to save the fold whenever possible as it is the best barrier to implant descent but sometimes with a short distance from the fold to the areola I need to lower it for the best result.  I have the patients wear a very specific underwire bra 24/7/3 months to help a weak fold gain the strength it needs. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Lower fold may not cause implants to bottom out

With many breast augmentations the fold will be lowered as the breast implant is centered within the breast. The lowering of the fold has more to do with the give and relaxation in the skin envelop of the breast rather than the idea of physically lowering the breast fold. Yes, an attempt to lower the actual fold with a very full implant can result in the implant to bottom out, or even result in a double bubble, though this is more of cause of the pocket problems. What is important now is that your surgeon can fix the situation.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Lowering the inframammary fold

Many factors can contribute to bottoming out but lowering the inframammary fold can contribute also.  Bottoming out can be fixed with a surgical procedure.  Good luck!

Bivik Shah, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Is It True That Lowering the Inframmary Fold Will Cause Bottoming Out?

Can not answer without seeing before and after photos of you. Ask him why he lowered the infra fold. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast Augmentation San Diego

Your surgeon may have had good reason(s) to lower the inframammary fold.  Lowering the fold, in and of itself, does not cause "bottoming out."  A combination of skin and soft tissue elasticity, patient activity post operatively, tobacco use (retards healing and collagen formation), genetically determined healing characteristics, size and weight of the implant, as well as surgical technique and pre-surgical patient anatomy all influence the position of the inframammary fold after breast augmentation.

At the end of your healing process, a perfect result is partly characterized by a nipple at the very forward most projecting point of the breast, which should be in the very center of the breast mound.  If you had a low nipple areola complex pre operatively, but didn't get large enough implants to sufficiently lift the nipple to the breast center, your surgeon had a choice of adding scars (breast lift) or lowering the crease so the center of the implant (and your breast) drop slightly so it is directly behind the nipple.  This strategy is frequently employed to avoid formal mastopexy and its associated risks, provided the inframammary crease is high enough pre surgically to permit some lowering.

Because of the complexity of healing and the multiple factors influencing the precise position of the inframammary fold (which changes over time) post operatively, it is impossible to predict and completely control.  Bottoming out is thus, unfortunately, not an uncommon problem.  Fortunately, it can be fixed.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 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.