Several incision options are available for patients undergoing breast augmentation surgery. You surgeon will help you determine which option is best for you during your examination and consultation.
Determining factors include:
The majority of patients opt for their surgery to be performed through the areola (the darker skin surrounding your nipple). This is known as the periareolar technique. Patients often favor this technique because the scars are easily hidden along the bottom edge of the areolas. After the scar fades most patients can barely see the incision lines, if at all. We have also found that patients who have breast augmentation “through the nipple” have a slightly faster healing time.
This is a favorable technique amongst surgeons because it allows them to work more closely to the breast, allowing easier access for placement. It is also the ideal incision site if you are looking to also have a breast lift. This is because breast lift incisions are also made around the areola.
Protective sleeves are used when inserting the breast implant to protect the breast ducts and to reduce the risk of infection. The risk of a change in nipple sensitivity is slightly higher than with that of other techniques, but is still very minimal.
Both saline and silicone implants can be inserted through the incisions made along the bottom half of the areola. However, not all breast augmentation patients are candidates for this technique. Silicone implant patients with small areolas or very little breast tissue are not candidates for this technique. This is to be determined by your doctor during your examination.
Another popular incision site for breast enhancement surgery is under the fold of the breast, a technique known as the Inframammary Technique. Patients opt for this technique, either because they would rather have their scar hidden under the fold of the breast or because they are not candidates for the periareolar technique.
This technique also allows the surgeon to work in close proximity to the breast, allowing for easier placement. This, in turn, will result in a faster healing time. It also allows for much easier access if for any reason you have revision breast surgery.
It is important to choose a qualified surgeon so that your incisions are not too high or too low on the breast. It is very useful to view breast augmentation before and after pictures to have a better understanding of what your scar will look like.
The inframammary technique is well suited for all breast augmentation patients- including patients with small areolas and little amount of breast tissue. Both silicone and saline implants can be placed through an incision made under the fold.
Some patients opt for the transaxillary technique, where the implants are placed through an incision made in the underarm- most often because they prefer to have scarless breasts. Incisions in the armpit are easy hidden by the natural fold of the arm.
However, transaxillary breast augmentation does pose additional risks. Because a path must be created from the underarm to the breast the surgeon does not have as much access to the breast, which increases the chance of complications and asymmetry. It also does not allow the surgeon to use the same incision in the event you need to undergo revision surgery.
Only saline implant patients are candidates for this technique because silicone implants are pre-filled and cannot be placed through the small path from the armpit down to the breast.
Saline implants are rolled tightly and placed down the opening that has been created for them. Once in place under the muscle, the implant is carefully filled with the saline solution and adjusted to the ideal position.
Transumbilical Breast Augmentation (known as TUBA for short) gained popularity over the past few years because of its “scarless” technique. The incision is made inside the belly button, so that the scar is not visible. Also, since there are no incisions on the breasts there is no risk of damage to the breast ducts.
However, it is important to note that because the implant must travel a further distance to be placed under the muscle of the chest wall, it is more traumatic to the body – meaning that there is a higher risk of complication, a significantly longer healing time, and more possible bruising, swelling and pain. In extremely rare cases “tracks” can appear underneath the skin.
Unlike the other techniques, breast augmentation through the belly button can only be performed for patients who choose saline implants. This is because the implant is rolled up and inserted through the incision. Once it is strategically placed, the implant is then inflated with the salt water solution and adjusted for final placement.
Anytime there is an incision, you will have a scar. Fortunately, the surgeons at California Surgical Institute are highly skilled at creating incisions that are hidden along the natural folds and creases of the skin.
To prevent unfavorable scarring (such as keloids), we offer a 12 week Scar Treatment Program. Kelocote is a very effective way to help the healing process and to minimize the appearance of scars – even old scars.