Nothing can be scarier about an upcoming breast augmentation than worrying about the right incision. If you are like most women, thoughts of incision scarring and potential complications feel overwhelming. Understanding where each specific incision is placed, and when it is commonly used, can make this choice less frightening. Remember, an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Paul Vitenas, is your biggest ally when making the right ‘ Incision Decision’ for yourself.
The Purpose of Incisions
Breast augmentation incisions serve the obvious purpose of implant placement. Choosing the right incision ensures safety and an accurate positioning of the saline or silicone implant. The specific incision should allow for adequate visual access and dissection of the breast pocket, created for the implant.
Today, there are four different incision techniques used for breast augmentation, although they are not equally appropriate for all women. The most popular techniques include the inframammary incision and the perio-areolar incision. Less popular are the transaxillary and TUBA incisions.
The transaxillary incision is placed under the arm, meaning the scar is moderately ease to conceal. However, this technique can make it hard for the surgeon to completely access the breast pocket, meaning less precision with implant placement. The use of the transaxillary incision will depend on the experience and protocols of a specific surgeon.
Trans-umbilical or TUBA (belly button)
The TUBA incision takes the implant through the belly button, moving it upward into the breast pocket. This incision may sound good to some, as the scar is on the abdomen, along the umbilicus. However, the TUBA incision makes it difficult for the surgeon to see the surgical field inside of the breast. Therefore, the TUBA is not often a recommended technique.
The peri-areolar incision is placed around the areola/nipplie complex. This incision is an excellent choice, as it give surgeons clear access to the breast pocket. The resulting scar is small and well-concealed in the natural curvature of the areola. However, not everyone is a candidate for this incision. If the areola is too small, or a large incision is needed (placing a large implant), the peri-areolar incision is not recommended.
Inframammary (breast crease)
An inframammary incision is widely considered the most versatile, allowing the best access to the breast pocket. The incision runs along the groove, under the breast, making is easily concealed as the breast sits naturally over the scar. The inframammary incision is one of the most popular for today’s breast augmentation.
Incision Length and Scarring
How long your incision will be is based on the type of implant used. Saline implants require the shortest length incision, as the implants are filled after going into the breast pocket. Conversely, silicone implants need added a bit longer incision, as they are placed in the breast pocket pre-filled.
Everyone heals differently, and this includes scarring. Skin type, ethnicity, and genetics mean some women will have more visible scarring than others. At your consultation, an experienced plastic surgeon can explain, to a degree, what kind of scarring can be expected, as well as what can be done in the future to minimize these scars. A beautiful final result, with implants that look proportionate and natural on your body, will override the look of your breast augmentation scars.
One Final Word on the ‘Incision Decision’
While the most commonly used incisions are periareolar and inframammary, the only way to know what will work best for you is to schedule an in-person consultation with a renowned, trusted, board certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Vitenas has almost 30 years of breast augmentation experience. Using cutting-edge techniques, Dr. Vitenas ensures that his patients get the best and safest augmentation results available today.
Contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at 281.407.7428 to find out how to schedule your consultation with Dr. Vitenas. Not in Houston? Dr. Vitenas also offers a virtual consultation. Speak with a patient coordinator for more information and instructions.