Breast augmentation is the procedure carried out by plastic surgeons to enhance the appearance of a woman’s breasts by inserting implants. During the surgery, the implants are usually placed under the breast tissue or just behind the muscles of the chest via an incision. There are various choices when it comes to incision location. Some of the various factors that affect where the incision will be made are determined by the surgeon or the patient and include:
- Your chest anatomy
- Your preferred outcome
- Size and shape of the breast implants
Since this is a very intimate decision that also relies on the aesthetics you are looking to get, you also decide where the incision will be made. Some people decide to have the incisions made around the areola or under the breast fold. This is because the scar will always be hidden with clothes. However, others go for the axillary approach since it doesn’t leave scars.
The method assures a woman that she doesn’t have to feel bad looking at herself in the mirror or getting undressed in front of her lover. Regardless of the incision spot, plastic surgeons always strive to get beautiful results that are accompanied by low risks. Therefore, before going for a breast augmentation, you should decide how you want to eventually feel and look. With this in mind, there are four main incision patterns that surgeons use. They include:
- Inframammary incision
- Areolar or Periareolar incision
- Transaxillary incision
- TUBA incision
This approach is also referred to as the crease incision and is considered the most popular method of breast augmentation. Here, the incision is usually made in the fold under the breast referred to as the inframammary crease. This is the point where the breast and the chest wall meet. Normally, women with moderately even breasts will not show the scar, which makes it an ideal location for the incision. The surgeon usually makes an opening along the breast fold, forming a pocket that is later filled with an implant.
- There is direct visibility of the created pocket for implant positioning
- In case of deep folds, the scar remains hidden by the breasts
- It is a great approach for any additional breast surgeries
- It offers excellent access to place silicone gel implants
- Doesn’t affect nipple sensation
- No complications when breastfeeding
- When lying down, the scar becomes visible
- It leaves a scar on the breast
- It is hard to hide the scar if you have small breasts
Areolar or Periareolar Incision
The approach involves the doctor placing an incision around all the darker nipple edge also known as areolar or periareolar, a half circle on the lower half of your nipple. Your surgeon will then place the implant via the incision and position it appropriately.
- The incisions are smaller and heal very fast
- The areolar tissue hides the scar
- It is a perfect option for any additional breast surgeries
- Great when treating mildly sagging breast cases
- The surgeon can position the implant in the most attractive location
- Not appropriate for patients with tiny nipples
- It can complicate the breastfeeding process as milk ducts get affected
- It can lead to decreased nipple sensation
- The scar can get raised, noticeable, and discolored
- Exposing the implant to bacteria could lead to a higher risk of capsular contracture
This method involves the incision getting placed in the armpit fold. Any woman going for breast augmentation for the first time, preferring a saline implant, and not requiring any breast lift will find this to be the best incision point. For this procedure, the doctor makes a tiny incision in your armpit and forms a pocket in the chest where the implant will be placed. Once the implant is in place, it gets filled with saline.
- The scars are well concealed
- No scarring anywhere near the breast
- It doesn’t affect breastfeeding
- Any bleeding can be detected and arrested immediately
- Nipple sensation is not affected
- The doctor cannot see or feel the breast tissue which can compromise the implant positioning
- The scars are usually visible when wearing sleeveless tops
- Shaving the armpit can become difficult
- You can lose sensations around the incision area
- The location cannot be used again for future breast surgeries
- It might be difficult to make longer incisions for silicone gel implants in case the armpits are small
It is also known as the transumbilical, navel, or belly button incision and is normally made within the navel. An incision is usually made around the navel’s upper portion, and a balloon is then inserted under your breast. The pocket is usually made above the muscle. This balloon gets inflated, which rips apart the tissue. Plastic surgeons do not encourage this approach due to the pain involved.
- There is no visible scar on the breast
- It is a blind and blunt approach to creating a pocket
- Surgeons cannot place silicone gel implants via this approach
- It is difficult to create a precise pocket
- It is hard to position the implant precisely since the incision is far from the breast
- There is the risk of having to make different incisions in case the placement fails to work out during the surgery
- Controlling any bleeding that might occur is also difficult
Breast surgeons agree that the ideal incisions are the Periareolar and inframammary. Also, the major breast implants manufacturers, Mentor and Allergan also agree so. These incisions allow the surgeons to make effective pocket creations for the breast implants. They also advise patients to not choose the trans-umbilical approach and be very careful with the trans-axillary one. The most popular approach today is the inframammary.
Before making a decision on which approach to choose, consult with your surgeon and go through the pros and cons of each method. Do not choose an approach simply because your friend picked it before and it worked for her perfectly; there are many things that determine the type of incision to have. If you are looking to have a breast augmentation procedure in Florida, consult Dr Anurag Agarwal and Richard Maloney at the Aesthetics Surgery Center. They have consolidated a great team of qualified plastic surgeons who are accredited and have a lot of experience in breast augmentation, face, and reconstruction surgeries, among others. You can contact them here.