Several operative techniques for inframammary fold (IMF) reconstruction have been described and have resolved the shortcomings of conventional methods. However, there are still difficulties with IMF reconstruction, that is, performance through small mastectomy scars, creation of a smooth IMF curve, transfer of external IMF markings to the interior chest wall, or determining correct IMF without an implant in place. We have used a type of anchor suture with a completely percutaneous approach, the vertical pendulum suture (VP suture), to reconstruct the IMF easily in implant-based breast reconstruction. The VP suture requires a pair of skin incisions a few millimeters in length (incisions A and B). The needle passes through the subcutaneous tissue from incision A, the chest wall, again through the subcutaneous tissue, and exits from incision B. Then, the needle passes through the edge of the dermis from incision B, the superficial layer of the subcutaneous tissue, again through the other edge of the dermis, and exits from incision A. The knot is tied and buried in the subcutaneous tissue. The whole technique can be performed percutaneously without visualizing the inside of the pocket. A retrospective case series study of photographs and chart review was conducted for all cases of unilateral implant-based breast reconstruction performed from December 2016 to December 2017 at Ina Central Hospital, Ina, Japan. Nine consecutive patients underwent unilateral implant-based breast reconstruction. Five patients treated using the VP suture were included in this study. All 5 patients showed good esthetic results over the follow-up period (average, 11 months). Scalloped appearance was observed in all patients, but flattened spontaneously and disappeared within 3 months postoperatively. There were no complications, such as hematoma, infection, skin necrosis, pneumothorax, seroma, scar contracture, or implant injury. The VP suture is completely percutaneous, parallel to the IMF, and is easy to perform at any time during surgery regardless of whether the implant is in place or not. IMF reconstruction is facilitated by freeing the surgeon from the need to visualize the inside of the pocket.
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