Breast Augmentation Incision Options
By Sheryl Pilcher on December 09, 2013
Breast augmentation offers choices beyond selecting a size and shape for your new contour. Another important decision is choosing the type of incision:
- Transumbilical Incision or TUBA
There are pros and cons to each choice. Through consultation about goals and body types, our plastic surgery patients in San Antonio receive the information they need for informed decisions about breast augmentation incisions and methods.
The most common breast augmentation incision is the inframammary method, which involves an incision in the breast crease where the breast meets the rib cage. It offers the greatest amount of control when positioning the implant and can be used with either silicone or saline breast implants. A saline implant will require a slightly larger incision.
- A small incision hidden in the breast fold, where it is concealed by clothing, swimsuits, and undergarments.
- Easy access for placing the implant.
- Less chance of interfering with breastfeeding.
If you are trying to overcome asymmetrical breasts, the inframammary method allows greater precision in placing the implants.
There are two, usually temporary, drawbacks to the inframammary method: Clothing, such as a bra, may irritate the incision during recovery and the scar will remain red for a longer period (perhaps 12 to 18 months).
A downfall of the method is some visible scarring, though it is camouflaged in the breast fold.
The perioareolar incision is made around the nipple, which helps camouflage the resulting thin scar, and both saline and silicone breast implants can be used. The method also helps overcome nipple inversion.
A drawback is the possible loss of nipple sensation, which may be temporary. This method also has a greater potential for problems with breastfeeding as compared to other techniques.
In the transaxillary method, the incision is made in the armpit, eliminating any scarring on the breast. The incision is about one to two inches long. After the opening is made, a lighted camera (endoscope) is used and a path is created to the breasts for positioning the implants, typically unfilled saline implants.
However, due to the distance to the breast, there is less precision in placing the implant, which could lead to less than ideal placement. If scarring occurs, it will be more noticeable when raising your arm while wearing a swimsuit or low-cut top.
Transumbilical Incision or TUBA
The transumbilical method (TUBA) uses a C or J shaped incision hidden in the folds of the belly button. An endoscope is inserted and a path is created to the breasts for placement of a saline implant.
With TUBA, the scar is well hidden in the belly button. The method also has a reduced infection rate. One drawback is the greater margin of error in placing the implant because of the distance between the incision and the implant location.
What to Consider
There are many variables to consider when selecting the incision location and no one technique is best for all scenarios. Your goals and your body characteristics all play a part in making the decision.
We understand that sorting out all the options can be confusing. Please call our offices for a consultation with a skilled surgeon. By sitting down and talking, we can discuss your goals and select treatments that will help you attain them.
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“If you need breast augmentation or any cosmetic surgery, I would highly recommend Dr. Pilcher....This has been the best decision I have made.” Quintessa M.