As part of the surgical planning process, one of the determinations the doctor will need to make is exactly where to place the incision needed for the breast augmentation procedure. This incision will be made in the most inconspicuous place possible on or near the breasts in order to minimize scar visibility. There are a number of different sites that are regularly used.
Depending upon the body type of the patient, the implant selected and several other factors, the surgeon will decide which of the possible approaches is best suited in each case.
Breast Surgery Incision Options
In the armpit, which is known as a transaxillary approach. To perform breast augmentation with a transaxillary incision, the incision is made in the natural folds of the armpit tissue. A channel is then created up to the breast. This procedure is sometimes performed with an endoscope, or a small tube with a surgical light and camera embedded in the end, to provide improved visibility through the channel. A major advantage of breast augmentation with a transaxillary incision is that the scar is not on the breast.
In the crease on the underside of the breast, which is known as an inframammary approach. Breast augmentation with an inframammary incision is performed with an incision made under the breast in an area close to the inframammary fold. The incision is made here to secure proper placement of the implant, but also to reduce scar visibility. An advantage of breast augmentation with an inframammary incision is that the surgeon works close to the breast, allowing for optimal visibility during the procedure.
Around the areola, the dark skin in the nipple area, which is known as a periareolar approach. The goal of breast augmentation with a periareolar incision is to place the incision in the transition area between the dark areola and surrounding breast skin where it can be hidden. As with the inframammary incision, this incision allows the implant to be placed precisely into the pocket that is formed and provides for accuracy that helps to control bleeding.
Through the belly button, which is known as a transumbilical approach. The implants are placed using an endoscopic technique through an incision in the navel. This minimally invasive method of breast enhancement, called TUBA, involves creating a tunnel just below the surface of the skin from the naval up to the breasts.
After the incision has been made, a pocket is created within the breast tissue for the implant. This pocket will be either above or below the pectoral muscle of the chest. The surgeon will insert the implant through the incision and then position it so that the implant is securely in place behind the nipple. A silicone implant is inserted pre-filled, while a saline implant is inserted empty and filled to a pre-determined level once it has been positioned correctly. Upon completion of the augmentation, the surgeon will suture the incision closed and dress it with a bandage.
Breast Augmentation Scarring
Scars are a part of the breast augmentation process. All patients do develop a scar, whether it is around the areola, under the arm, beneath the breast or at the navel. However, advancements in surgical technique now result in the formation of the least visible scars. In addition, breast augmentation scars, regardless of where they are located, tend to heal extremely well. The scar is usually small and inconspicuous, and our goal is always to make sure the scar is as unnoticeable as possible. Over time, the scar will fade as well.