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Breast Augmentation Incisions

Unlike medically necessary surgery, elective cosmetic surgery gives the surgeon a little bit of leeway in where incisions are made. This often means incisions can be placed in or near a fold in the skin, or in a completely out of the way place that isn’t visible to most people.

In addition, where and how some cosmetic surgery incisions are made can also encourage faster healing, and discourage some potential complications. To that end, a handful of breast augmentation incisions were created to facilitate the procedure, and provide more pleasing aesthetic results.

Understanding
Breast Augmentation
Incisions

Inframammary Incision

The area under the breast, where the breast meets the torso, is called the inframammary fold, so an inframammary incision is one made along that line.

Advantages

The inframammary incision offers several advantages:

  • It allows the surgeon maximum precision when placing the breast implant, thereby helping to produce the most symmetrical results.
  • Scarring is not as noticeable because inframammary incisions are located within the breast crease.
  • If a second surgery, or a revision surgery is necessary, the same incision location can be used with no new scarring.
  • Because the surgeon is able to work a lot closer to the breast cavity, the potential breast augmentation risks and complications are greatly reduced.
  • It offers the greatest choice of breast implant type, as the incision can easily accommodate either silicone or saline implants.
  • It offers the greatest choice of breast implant placement, as the incision can easily accommodate either submuscular or subglandular placement.
  • It lowers the potential for future breastfeeding complications as the milk ducts are not affected by the incisions.

DisAdvantages

The inframammary incision also has a few disadvantages:

  • If you have a subsequent breast augmentation procedure, and choose a different implant size, the existing scar may become more visible due to the change in breast size.
  • There’s a chance the scar will be darker as the skin on the lower breast is thicker than other areas of the breast.

Periareolar Incision

This type of incision is made around (peri) the areola (areolar). It doesn’t go all the way around the areola, though, and is more of a crescent shape along the bottom of it.

Advantages

The periareolar incision offers several advantages:

  • It gives the surgeon high precision when placing the breast implant, thereby lowering the risk of surgical complications, and helping to produce the most symmetrical results.
  • Scarring is not as noticeable because of the natural darkness of the areola compared to surrounding skin.
  • If a second surgery, or a revision surgery is necessary, the same incision location can be used with no new scarring.
  • The high blood flow and thin skin of the area surrounding the nipple-areola complex promotes healing and minimizes scarring.
  • It can accommodate either submuscular or subglandular implant placement.

DisAdvantages

The periareolar incision also has a few disadvantages:

  • Some women are unable to breastfeed due to the milk ducts being damaged by the incisions.
  • There is a possibility of loss of sensation in the nipple.
  • There is a heightened risk of infection via the milk ducts.
  • There is a greater risk of capsular contracture.

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Transumbilical Incision

This incision goes through (trans) the umbilical cavity, also known as the navel or belly button. The incision is made around the navel, and a path is made from the navel to the breast cavity. This procedure is sometimes called transumbilical breast augmentation, or TUBA.

Advantages

The transumbilical incision offers a few advantages:

  • It’s the least invasive breast augmentation incision.
  • Scarring is reduced as it tends to blend with the natural contours of the area around the navel, and there is no scarring of the breasts.
  • Recovery time is reduced.

DisAdvantages

The transumbilical incision also has some disadvantages:

  • It can only accommodate saline implants and submuscular placement.
  • There is a higher risk of complications.
  • The surgeon has little precision in placing the implants.
  • Because of the distance from the incision to the chest, precision of placement is lessened.
  • The same incision area cannot be used for any subsequent breast augmentation procedures. Your surgeon would need to use a different incision type in another area of your body.

Axillary Incision

Also called a transaxillary incision, it is made in the armpit, and the surgeon uses an endoscope to perform the augmentation procedure.

Advantages

The axillary incision offers a few advantages:

  • Because the incision is made in a naturally occurring crease in the armpit, scarring is minimal and usually only visible if you raise your bare arm.
  • It can accommodate either submuscular or subglandular implant placement.
  • The breasts are not scarred.

DisAdvantages

The axillary incision also has some disadvantages:

  • It can generally only accommodate saline implants.
  • Because of the distance from the incision to the chest, precision of placement is lessened.
  • There is a higher risk of complications.
  • Certain types of breasts, such as those with severe ptosis, are not suitable for this technique. Your surgeon will assess you to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for axillary incisions.

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