Breast implant incisions and positioning

As with many plastic surgery procedures, breast augmentation involves incisions. This can often cause potential patients to be apprehensive, as the idea of having a scar can be unappealing. However, the visibility of the scars will vary depending on the incision position and method of surgery.

There are four locations where your incisions may take place:

1. Periareolar incision

This incision will take place around the lower circumference of the areola. This is often a preferred incision position if you are concerned about scarring. This is because the incision is able to be concealed by the darker, outer edge of the areola.

However, if you are going to have children and breastfeed in the future, you may wish to reconsider having this surgical method. Incisions around the areola can sometimes cause difficulty with breastfeeding and risk a loss of sensation in the nipple.

This incision type will also depend on the size of your areola. If you have small areolas, the implant may not be able to fit through the incision.

2. Inframammary incision

This incision takes place within the inframammary fold, which is otherwise known as the crease under the breast where it meets the body.

There are numerous benefits to this incision position. This incision allows surgeons to gain direct access to the tissue where the pocket for the implant will be made. This allows for a more precise placement of the implant. This incision placement is suitable for any size implants. It also has a lower risk of problems arising with breastfeeding and loss of nipple sensation.

The incision may be more visible than other incision placements. However, the incision will not be as visible when you look front on. It is generally only visible when you are lying down.

3. Transaxillary incision

This involves making an incision in the armpit. The surgeon then creates a tunnel to the breast and forms the pocket in the breasts where the implant will be placed.

This is suitable for those who are not undergoing revision surgery and do not need an uplift. This is the preferred option for those who do not wish to have scars on or around the breasts, as the scars will be in the armpits.

The drawbacks to this incision placement include the precision of the surgery. Unlike the inframmary incision, surgeons will not have direct access to the tissue and where they are placing the implant, which can make the surgery more difficult. You may experience a longer or more intense recovery time. If you do need revision surgery, it will not be able to take place from the same scar.

4. Transumbilical incision

This is the most uncommon method for breast augmentation and is currently not performed at Centre for Surgery.

Otherwise referred to as TUBA incision, the transumbilical incision involves cutting in the belly button. This is sometimes referred to as “scarless” breast augmentation, as the incision is well hidden within the belly button. A tunnel is then made from the belly button to the breasts, where the implants are then placed.

This method of surgery can seem appealing as you will be left with no scar. The procedure can often be performed quickly and you may experience a quicker recovery time.

However, there are numerous downsides to the TUBA incision. Much like the transaxillary incision, there is no direct access to the breasts, which makes the surgery more difficult. This method can often result in implants which are placed incorrectly, leaving the patient unsatisfied with the results. This method will also not be able to be used if you require revision surgery. If you do require revision surgery, a new incision will be made on or around the breasts.

Because of the high level of risk with placing the implants, many surgeons do not offer this method as an incision choice.

How do I know which one is right for me?

Prior to your surgery, you will be required to attend a consultation with a surgeon who will perform your breast augmentation procedure. They will be able to examine your breasts and consider your desired outcome and your needs – such as it being revision surgery, you will be likely to be breastfeeding in the future, or where you would like the scar. Factors such as these may ultimately determine which surgical method is used for your procedure.

Are you interested in breast augmentation? Contact us today to find out more about breast augmentation or to book a consultation with one of our surgeons.

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