Incision Techniques & Implant Placement
Before undergoing breast augmentation, your surgeon will discuss a range of incision options that can be used to insert the breast implant. While each method has its own benefits, the size of the implant may also dictate the type of incision used.
This incision is the most popular technique used in breast augmentation. The process involves making an incision under the breast along the fold, giving the surgeon better access to the breast, to create a pocket for the implant. While this technique does leave a small scar, it often heals so well that it’s barely visible. Inframammary is also popular due to the low risk of nipple sensation loss as most procedures do not require the need to cut breast tissue or ducts.
Made through the naval, transumbilical incisions require the surgeon to guide the implant under the skin and up into the implant pocket. Due to the position of the incision, there is no scarring near the breast, but it can be difficult to manoeuvre the implant into the ideal position.
This technique requires a small incision being made around the areola, allowing the surgeon to insert the implant through the nipple. While this method results in a discrete scar that’s barely visible, it also has an increased risk of damaging breast ducts and glands, which may cause loss of nipple sensation and affect your ability to breastfeed.
This technique is more challenging for surgeons as it requires the placement of the implant to be made via an incision in the armpit. From here the surgeon is able to position the implant into the breast pocket leaving a discreet scar that is hidden from view in most outfits and arm positions. Transaxillary is most popular with women who do not have a breast crease to hide their scar, but it can not be used for women opting for larger implants. The technique can also carry some risk of nipple sensation loss.
While each technique has its own benefits they all leave a scar. For many patients, this idea of a permanent scar is understandably concerning, but in a reassuring study by the American Society of Plastic surgeons, only 1% of surveyed patients were dissatisfied with the appearance of their scar.
Over vs. Under the Muscle
After the incision is made, your surgeon will insert the implant either over or under the breast muscle.
Normally, placing the implant over the muscle is the easiest option and offers a shorter recovery time, but for some women, this is not an option. Placing the implant over the muscle requires a large amount of natural breast tissue in order to cover the implant. Therefore placing the implant under the muscle is the preferred option.
By placing the implant under the muscle your surgeon can achieve a more natural look. It also makes any future medical examinations of your breasts easier. However, there are also a number of complications to be aware of, including:
- Implant compression
- Implant distortion
- Bottoming out
While it can be a difficult decision, your surgeon will be able to provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice and ensure you get the results you desire.