One of the most important decisions you and your plastic surgeon will make before a breast augmentation procedure is which type of incision will be made for the insertion of the implant. Many plastic surgeons favor a particular approach in all cases, while others will suggest a type of incision that best suits each individual patient. Here’s a closer look at the four most common types of breast implant incisions, including the pros and cons of each method.
When it comes to the areola method, the incision is made around the outline of the areola, the brown or pink colored area surrounding the nipple. The surgeon’s goal is to make the incision in between the dark area of the areola and its surrounding skin, which helps to minimize the incision’s visibility. The drawbacks of the periareolar incision are that 2-5% of patients lose nipple sensation, and 20% are unable to breast feed as compared to other incision sites. Advantages of the periareolar incision are that it allows the surgeon to have the greatest control over the position of the implant, which leads to better accuracy of the implants’ placement and minimal visibility of scarring.
Made in the natural fold of the armpit tissue, the transaxillary incision is created through a channel from the armpit to the breast and then the implant is placed behind the nipple. Sometimes the surgeon uses an endoscope; a small tube with surgical light and camera to guide the surgeon through the incision. One disadvantage is that 10-15% of patients who undergo the transaxillary incision will have a greater risk of asymmetry in the breast implant’s position. However, there is virtually no scaring on breast as it is performed from a distanced incision site.
Performed along the bottom of breast, the inframmary incision is placed along the crease or fold of the breast where the breast and skin come together. The surgeon creates a pocket to place the implant, and then slides it upward through the incision site and places it behind the nipple. White the inframmary incision may leave a scar along the lower portion of the breast where the bra strap lies; it can be easily hidden under a bra or swimsuit top. A major advantage of the inframmary incision is that it allows the surgeon to work closely to the breast, which provides excellent visibility and accuracy of the implants placement.
In the TUBA Incision, the cut is made on the rim of the navel, and underneath the skin through a tunnel of fatty tissue. The endoscope helps to guide the surgeon through the pathway from navel to breast, and a pocket is created which allows the breast implant to be inserted through the incision site, and placed behind the nipple. Because the TUBA incision is a blind procedure, the surgeon relies heavily on the endoscope to identify the breast implants placement, which challenges the surgeon to perform accuracy in creating breast asymmetry. On the other hand, in the TUBA Incision, there are no incisions in the breast area, so it is almost guaranteed that there will be no breast scarring.
No matter which type of breast augmentation incision you might be leaning toward, this important decision should only be made after weighing all your options with your plastic surgeon. To get started, you can learn more about the incision types and today’s breast enlargement surgery methods by contacting us for a private consultation with a top, board-certified plastic surgeon near you!