Unfortunately, breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery and like any other surgery, it does involve making an incision. The type of incision is often neglected by patients but it definitely shouldn’t be. All incision types come with their pros and cons and it’s important to be as informed as possible. At the end of the day, the final decision about the type of incision will be yours. Of course, your plastic surgeon will give you valuable advice on what breast augmentation incision options would be best for your specific body type and goals. In this article, we’re going to discuss all you need to know about breast augmentation incision types and their pros and cons.
Why is the incision type important?
Well, it’s mainly important because it will dictate where your scars will go. The placement will also have an effect on the recovery speed and how the breast implant is placed. There are four main types of breast augmentation incisions you can get. They include the periareolar incision, inframammary incision, transaxillary incision, and transumbilical incision. With some of the incision types, you can hide the scars left from the augmentation procedure. But what’s important to know is that not every incision is suitable for every type of implant. A lot of the methods can use both pre-filled implants and empty ones but for some incision techniques, only non-filled implants can be used. That’s why you and your surgeon will discuss which one would be most suitable for you, based on the type of implant (silicone gel or saline), its size, shape, and placement (whether its placed above or below the chest muscle).
Types of Breast Augmentation Incision Methods
The breast implant is inserted at the top or bottom of the areola. That’s why it’s also called an areolar incision. There are many benefits to the periareolar incision – since the incision is generally small it will blend in with the nipple natural color, making it not as visible. The other good thing about this method is that the scar is small and hardly visible. A lot of people who are concerned about scars prefer this method. Another huge advantage of this method is that it allows for more precise placement of the breast implant. And last but not least, the same incision can be used in future breast surgeries as well. With this method, you can use both saline and silicone gel breast implants.
One drawback is that it may affect some milk flow if you want to breastfeed in the future. Further, experts say that this method is not advisable to people with very small nipples because the implants may not fit into the cut. There are some medical disadvantages as well – since there are a lot of nerves around the nipple, this method can lead to less sensitivity in the area.
The inframammary incision is one of the most popular choices for women. The incision is made in the crease directly under the breast. Surgeons actually prefer this method because it allows for direct access to the breast. This way surgeons can put the breast implants precisely and easily, which ultimately makes this method very effective. Also, compared to the periareolar incision, this one leaves the patients will minimal chance of breastfeeding difficulties or loss of sensation in the nipples. Furthermore, the scar you’re going to have will be hidden and not as easily seen.
Something that might drawback patients is that the scar itself is not invisible – it’s still going to be seen if you look from below. This is something that may be a concern for some patients. Another thing that you might want to consider is that it will be difficult to change breast size after having inframammary incision. For example, if you’re to increase your breast size, the scar might move up and be more visible. If you’re up to decrease your breast size it might move down and become visible too.
The transaxillary incision is made in the armpit area. A lot of patients prefer this method because it allows for no scars on the breasts. Doctors usually use saline breast implants with this method because saline implants don’t come pre-filled. This means that saline implants are put in while empty and then filled. Of course, a silicone breast implant can also be used for this type of incision but it all depends on the surgeon. During the procedure, the breast implant is placed through a tunnel created for this very purpose. During the surgery, the surgeon will use an endoscope with a camera to place the implant with as much precision as possible. Further patients who get the transaxillary incision don’t have to worry about problems with breastfeeding or nipple sensitivity.
There are some cons to consider as well. A huge issue with the transaxillary incision is that it can only be used one time. This means that if you need another breast surgery you’d have to make another incision. Another thing you’d have to look out for is the risk of getting nerve damage. This method can also affect the lymphatic drainage if done incorrectly. If we look at the aesthetic downsides – there is also the risk of asymmetry.
The transumbilical incision type is not as popular as other incision methods. Surgeons make the incision through the belly button. This allows for a very well hidden scar that a lot of patients appreciate. During the procedure, much like the transaxillary method, the surgeon will create a tunnel that will be used to place the breast implants. There are some huge benefits to that incision. A huge plus to that method is that there is next to no risk of getting a loss of sensation in the nipple. Also, experts note that patients take less time to recover and with much less discomfort compared to the other methods.
But there are some negatives as well. For example, with the transumbilical incision, only saline implants can be used because they have to be filled once they’re inserted in the breasts. There’s also the issue with accurate placement – one of the biggest problems with this method is the fact that if done improperly the implants can be positioned incorrectly and the patient can end up with poor results. Another thing that might be a potential problem is that this is not a suitable method for very slim patients – you’d need enough fat to create the tunnel.
Breast augmentation is probably the most popular cosmetic surgery out there. The procedure itself is also quite old – the first breast augmentation surgery was done back in the 50s using silicone implants. Since then, the techniques and breast implants used in breast augmentation have evolved a lot. With those new methods to place the implants also emerged. Nowadays women have the option to choose the type of incision they want based on their goals, body type, and of course suggestions by the surgeon. But even today, breast augmentation doesn’t come without risks.
All four main types of incision types come with their pros and cons. As a patient, you can achieve amazing results with breast augmentation surgery but let’s not forget the surgeon’s role in the process. All incision types can be very successful if done properly and by an experienced surgeon. That’s why we always advise patients to research as much as they can before committing to cosmetic surgery.
Make sure to research online – read reviews, look for directories, and choose board-certified surgeons specializing in breast augmentation. You can also ask your friends and family for advice if anyone has had the surgery.
We hope this article was helpful!