Some women are surprised to discover there are several different types of breast augmentation techniques. Each option offers its own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re planning this surgery, you will need to know which option is right for you. Here, we take a closer look at the different techniques available. We also look at how your surgeon will determine which one best suits your needs.
The Different Techniques
There are four different incision types that a surgeon may choose from. These include:
- Inframammary incisions
- Transaxillary incisions
- Periareolar incisions
- Trans-umbilical incisions
What is an Inframammary Incision?
An inframammary incision involves the surgeon making the incision beneath the breast. The cut is in the natural bra line, so it is easier to hide the scar. This incision allows the surgeon to better control bleeding during the procedure. They also have a better field of vision as well as better access to achieve optimal implant placement. Should further surgery be necessary in the future, it’s easy to reopen this incision site too. For women who have concerns about nipple nerve damage, an inframammary incision is a good choice. There is no risk of damage with this incision. Also, it avoids the milk ducts, so breastfeeding is still an option in the future.
This procedure comes with a couple of drawbacks. In some cases, the scar can migrate upwards and become more noticeable. Also, changing breast size later can be more difficult due to possible scar movement. If a woman has very small breasts before their surgery, it can be hard to place this incision well.
What is a Periareolar Incision?
The periareolar incision is an incision between the areola and the breast skin. The advantage of this incision is that the scar usually heals well and can be made barely noticeable. The surgeon is also more able to effectively control surgical bleeding with this incision. Achieving a more precise placement is also possible. Should the patient require further surgery at a later date, reopening this incision is also simple.
On the downside, there is a greater risk of being unable to breastfeed afterward with this incision type. Also, if the scar doesn’t heal well, it could be quite visible. Patients have a higher chance of a changed nipple sensation. There is also more risk of capsular contracture. This incision is only possible if the areola is large enough to place the implant. Therefore, some women cannot have this incision.
What is a Transaxillary Incision?
Surgeons perform a transaxillary incision through the patient’s armpit. It involves less risk of damage to the mammary glands. Patients can also easily wear a swimsuit after the procedure since no scar is visible. It is, however, more challenging to position the implant correctly. Scarring of the armpit is also possible.
What is an Umbilical Incision?
Surgeons make an umbilical incision through the patient’s belly button. This incision reduces the risk of mammary gland damage and will leave nipple sensation unaffected. Without a visible scar, it’s easy to wear a swimsuit, and the recovery time is shorter. There are some disadvantages to this incision, though. It is impossible to reopen the scar for future surgery, and the risk of implant distortion is higher. This incision is only suitable for use with saline implants, and combining it with a breast lift is also impossible. As this is a difficult incision, few surgeons offer it.
Which Factors Should I Consider When Choosing the Right Technique for Me?
Some considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right technique include:
- Whether you’ll want to breastfeed in the future.
- The impact of any possible scarring.
- The type of implants you’ll be having.
- The possibility of sensation changes.
- Whether you’re getting a breast lift too.
A skilled surgeon can suggest the best types of breast augmentation techniques for your needs. Get in touch with the ArtLipo team today to find out more and arrange a consultation.
Dr. Thomas Su, is the owner and cosmetic surgeon of Artistic Lipo. He has led our full-time clinic specializing in awake-only liposuction since 2007. Dr. Su began his medical career in internal medicine, practicing that until 2005, when he began to provide a full spectrum of non-invasive cosmetic procedures.