When every patient decides to undergo breast augmentation, they have so many questions they want to consider before going through a surgery. From asking questions like what type of implant is best to use if it could be saline or silicone, to what implant size, to where the implant should be injected whether it could be over or under the muscle, to what area the incision should be placed – all these questions have been asked a lot by patients who want to consider breast augmentation with a common desire to achieve pleasing and aesthetic breast profile.
Since there are many details and information you need to know before undergoing breast augmentation surgery, it is not possible to discuss everything in one reading. For this article, we are going to break down the information and only focus on the topic of incision placement when considering a breast enhancement surgery.
Why is the placement of the incision so important?
An incision is required in every breast augmentation procedure since it is a surgical procedure that involves cutting of the skin for insertion of breast implant. Incision placement is important in breast augmentation because this is where the scar can be found once you have recovered from the surgery. While the scars are in the state of healing after surgery, it is best to consider their proper placement so you can feel comfortable and satisfied with your surgical outcome.
The incision placement is one of the stages that should be discussed the most with your surgeon before the procedure to give you good results. The incision placement is done during surgery and the doctor will find a safe placement and precisely position the breast implant inside the breasts.
Proper incision is very important because it helps the surgeon have a complete and direct vision of the entire pocket of the breasts, from the site of incision where the implant will be inserted. Also, the size and shape of the pocket are very essential as it determines how the implant will be fixed in place without making it loosen inside the pocket. So, the better the incision is executed, the better the outcome will be.
Where are the locations of incision placement and how is it done?
There are many factors that can help you determine which location of breast implant incision is right for you. These factors include the specific type of the breast implant if it is made up with saline or silicone, the size and shape of the implant, the unique body anatomy of the patient, and personal preference of the surgeon and patient based on their discussion during consultation.
To help you understand the different locations of incision placement and how these incisions work, here are the following incision techniques you need to know:
Inframammary incision is the most common incision placement that is usually done within the inframammary fold. This is the horizontal crease or breast fold where the breast is connected to the body.
Many surgeons choose this location to perform the incision because there is a direct view of the breast tissue to create the implant pocket, making the surgery more accurate upon performing, as well as the implant placement.
Pros: Implants that are different in size can be placed with the use of this incision. Moreover, there can be a lower risk of difficulties in breastfeeding, and only minor changes may occur in nipple sensation after surgery.
Cons: This incision may result in a visible scar after surgery. It may look noticeable in the breast fold in your breast side, but it will heal as soon as you give it proper care.
Periareolar Incision (Nipple Incision)
Periareolar incision can be done through making an incision halfway around the lower boundary of the areola or nipple. This technique is preferred by some patients especially those who only want to receive a well concealed scar, or those who have a high concern about scarring. This works when a scar hides around the areola where has a slightly bumpy texture and the darker pigment cannot be seen in the areola edge, so it remains unnoticeable even without the intentional need of hiding it.
Pros: This incision makes the positioning of the implants in the pockets easier and more defined because the implants are placed behind the areola and nipple which only allows a few number of stitching.
Cons: Although it may hide your scarring after surgery, this incision site may involve a higher risk of struggle in breastfeeding, changes in nipple sensation, and possible risk of infection. So having this incision is not advisable for those who want to breastfeed for it can give you complications in your nipples and your breasts. Furthermore, women with smaller areolae who prefer breast implants made up with silicone are not recommended to undergo periareolar incision. The reason is the implant cannot be fitted through this incision type as the incision made is very small.
Transaxillary incision is generally positioned in the armpit where a tunnel from the armpit to the breast is created in order to form a pocket in preparation for implant insertion. This technique uses a lighted camera called endoscope to help monitor the insertion of the implant inside the pocket.
Pros: Transaxillary incision is usually preferred when saline implants are inserted because they are smaller than silicone. On the other hand, there are some surgeons who can place silicone implants as well depending on the patients’ body anatomy. Also, the good thing about this approach is that scars are not visible on the breasts, but it can only be seen in the armpit.
Cons: When doing this incision, there are less tissues to be modified during surgery. This incision place does not give the surgeon a direct visualization that can lead to implant placement to become difficult and challenging. The reason is because the placement is performed through the armpit which is far from the breasts to place the implants. What’s more is that there might be a risk of bleeding and bruising during recovery period.
The best incisions that can be done depending on every patient and surgeon’s preference for the breast augmentation surgery. Just because you like how the incision works do not mean it is suitable for you.
However, most surgeons prefer the incisions that are proven safe and effective to accomplish because the most important thing is to help patients achieve their expected result. It is highly recommended for patients to know and understand these techniques so you can at least have an idea which incision placement is best for you without risking your health.