Anchored to my ribs? (Photo)

I went in for my first check-up after surgery. My doctor said I was anchored to my ribs? What exactly dues that mean? How come?

Doctor Answers 8

Sutures anchored to the ribs

Thank you for your question.  The technique of anchoring the fold (skin) to the ribs, is a way to protect your investment by making sure that the implants do not move below the newly created fold and lead to a double bubble deformity.  This is even more important when folds are lowered to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing breast shape.  This can be uncomfortable in the beginning but once the scar heals then the implant and fold are protected from causing a deformity in the future. Hope this answers your question. Best of luck. 

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 161 reviews

Some surgeons reinforce the fold

by using sutures to 'anchor' the deep fascia to the fascia over the ribs or between the ribs.  This helps prevent bottoming out but it also makes it harder to push down your implants if there is too much upper pole fullness.  So if you're happy with your look, there is nothing to worry about.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Anchored to my ribs?

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph.  It appears that your surgeon sutured your lower breast skin to your ribs in order to prevent your implant from settling too low on your chest.  Your skin dimpling will gradually improve as your results mature and the tissues soften.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews


I think your surgeon would probably be best to answer this question. However in your situation here is what I am presuming they are referring to:

At the end of breast augmentation, the surgeon will sometimes try and re-enforce the inframammory fold (IMF) with suturing down to the deep tissue or chest wall. This will help establish the lower boundary of the breast.  With time as the suture dissolved, the dimpling will go away as well.

Good luck on the rest of your recovery.

Khashayar Mohebali, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Nothing to worry about

Hi Wishing Girl,

You look good and this is a normal part of the surgical procedure that you had. We very often tack the inframammary fold down to a strong structure such as the lining of the ribs to secure the fold over time. Some people have a very lax/loose fold, and tacking it down helps prevent the implant from bottoming out in the future. It might be a little tender for the first couple of weeks. But it's an "insurance stitch," as we like to call it. Best of luck,

Dr. Weintraub

Jennifer Weintraub, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tacking sutures after BBA

Thank you for your question. Obviously, your surgeon can best answer that question and explain exactly what was done. That being said, what he likely means is that sutures were placed to secure the lower fold tissue to the chest wall in order to support the implant and breast tissue. This is commonly done to help avoid inferior migration of the implant. It sometimes will appear like a small dimple along the fold. The sutures are typically dissolvable, and the dimple will resolve as the sutures dissolved in the tissue heals. Please discuss your concerns with your surgeon, but I suspect you will have a good outcome. Best regards.

Anthony Deboni, MD
Syracuse Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Anchored to my ribs?

I recommended to ask your surgeon for a full explanation.  However most likely the surgeon during closure sutured the posterior breast capsule to the periosteum of the rib to accentuate and clearly delineate your inframammary crease.  This technique is called a "shelf suture" to delineate and protect and clarify the inframammary crease following breast augmentation.


Anchored to your ribs perhaps means that some sutures were placed to hold your tissues against the rib or the fascial covering to help strengthen the closure.

This technique can be used to try to lift and hold the lower breast fold.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.