What You Need to Know About Inframammary Incisions

Reviewed by and by Michael Olding, MD, FACS

An inframammary incision (crease or fold incision) is one type of incision used in the placement of implants for breast augmentation.

The inframammary incision is placed in the proximity of the crease where the breast and chest come together.

This crease is called the inframammary fold.

Anatomy of the Breast Relative to the Inframammary Incision

The breast comprises a complex group of tissues, including glandular, fatty and fibrous tissues. The breast is positioned over the pectoral muscles of the chest wall and is attached to the chest wall by loose fibrous strands called Cooper's ligaments at the fold, there are strong fibrous attachments holding the skin to the chest wall.

The inframammary fold is created by gravity's pull on the lower portion of the breast, which is not connected to the chest wall by any fibrous tissue. A crease is formed at the point where the breast and the skin come together (normally in the location of the fifth or sixth rib) and where the skin is more tightly connected to the underlying body structure.

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How Is the Inframammary Incision Performed?

To perform the inframammary incision, the surgeon selects the optimum location to place the incision — under the breast and close to the inframammary fold. The surgeon makes the incision and creates a pocket in which to place the breast implant. The implant is slid upward through the incision, then centered behind the nipple.

The incision is located to secure proper placement of the implant, but also to reduce scar visibility. Scarring from properly located inframammary incisions should be easily hidden under a swimsuit top.

Advantages of the Inframammary Incision

Learn more about breast augmentation

There are several advantages to the inframammary incision. The first is that this incision allows the implant to be placed in any of the three implant locations:

Another advantage using the inframammary incision, the surgeon works close to the breast, which gives the surgeon optimal visibility while working.

Consult a Surgeon

Each individual's situation is unique, and this incision may or may not be the best one for you. Be sure to discuss the advantages of each incision option with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

About the Reviewer of This Article

Michael Olding, MD, FACS, of Washington, D.C. is board-certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgery and the National Capital Society of Plastic Surgeons, where he was elected president. Dr. Olding specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery procedures and clinically related activities in cosmetic surgery, cosmetic facial surgery, breast augmentation and reduction, rhinoplasty, body contouring, liposuction and melanoma. He is also one of the area experts on soft-tissue fillers (Restylane, Sculptra and Botox). He received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Kentucky in 1980 and completed his internship at Cornell Medical Center. He completed his fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery at McGill University in Montreal. Dr. Olding maintains hospital staff privileges at George Washington University Medical Center, Sibley Hospital and Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. More about Dr. Michael Olding