Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1472–1475 | Cite as

Treatment of Breast Animation Deformity in Implant-Based Reconstruction with Selective Nerve Ablation

  • Dustin L. Eck
  • David C. Nguyen
  • Laura L. Barnes
  • David A. JansenEmail author
Innovative Techniques Breast Surgery


Breast animation deformity is a known complication of subpectoral implant placement that is usually corrected by repositioning the implant to the prepectoral position. Other less common treatment options include performing the muscle splitting biplanar technique, triple plane technique, neuromodulator injections, and secondary neurotomies via transection of the pectoral muscle. We report a patient with animation deformity successfully treated with direct identification and ablation of the medial and lateral pectoral nerves using selective bipolar electrocautery. The patient is a woman with a history of invasive ductal carcinoma who underwent bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction with subpectoral implant placement and autologous fat grafting. Within 1 year of her breast reconstruction, she developed hyperactive pectoralis muscle contraction with resulting distortion of both breasts. Given the disadvantages of repositioning the implant to the prepectoral position and transecting the pectoralis muscles via secondary neurotomy, we chose to directly identify and selectively ablate distal branches of the medial and lateral pectoral nerves. This offers a novel technique for correcting breast animation deformity without transecting the pectoralis muscles, causing muscle atrophy, and preserving the subpectoral implant position.

Level of Evidence V This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these evidence-based medicine ratings, please refer to the table of contents or the online instructions to authors


Breast animation deformity Implant-based reconstruction Selective nerve ablation Subpectoral breast reconstruction Subpectoral implant distortion Muscular contraction deformities 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dustin L. Eck
    • 1
  • David C. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Laura L. Barnes
    • 1
  • David A. Jansen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryTulane University Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA

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