This is a great question as there is some confusion about what an internal bra exactly does and who can benefit from this procedure. An internal bra refers to the correction of the breast implant pocket internally. This is the space where the breast implant is located. The internal bra can be created with special sutures or various mesh materials to correct the breast implant pocket.
An internal bra is specifically designed to correct the position of the breast implant itself. It does not remove the need for a breast lift or remove excess skin. If patients have breasts that need to be lifted or excess skin that needs to be removed, then that needs to be addressed with a breast lift (which can often be done at the same time as the internal bra).
Examples of when an internal bra might be necessary is when the implant falls out to the side toward the armpit, “bottoms out” (falls inferiorly), or when they come to close together (symmastia). These are not the only time that an internal bra maybe helpful but are the most common reasons that we use it.
The procedure for the internal bra entails placing very specific sutures and or mesh internal correct the capsule that surrounds the breast implant. Every patient forms some capsule around the breast implant, if the capsule becomes too hard it leads to capsular contracture, If the capsule is too soft it will not hold the implant in the correct position. In situations where the internal bra is needed the capsule that has formed around the implant is no longer holding the implant in the correct position. In this situation where the capsule is not holding the implant in place is where an internal bra can be used to correct this issue.
When I see patients, I examine the placement of the breast implant to determine if an internal bra would be a good option to improve their results. If it is an implant issue then the internal bra may be a good option, if it is a skin issue then they may need a breast lift. There are certain situations where patients need both a breast lift and an internal bra to reach their aesthetic goals.
It is important to consult with your Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon to determine if an internal bra would be a good option to help you reach your aesthetic goals.