Breast Implant Incision Placement
Breast augmentation normally makes use of one of three types of incisions:
You and your surgeon will work together to decide which incision type is most appropriate for your procedure.
The risk of scarring is the biggest disadvantage of inframammary incisions. While the scar is usually hidden in the breast fold, it may still be visible. In addition, if you should choose to increase the size of your implants at a later date, the scars may move up on the breasts and become more visible.
The biggest disadvantage of a periareolar incision is its proximity to the nipple and milk ducts, leading to a potential loss of sensation to the nipple and increasing the risk of breastfeeding complications. Furthermore, exposing the milk ducts can increase the risk of infection. Rest assured that your surgeon is highly aware of the added risks, and will make every effort to prevent such complications. Another disadvantage of a periareolar incision is that it makes silicone gel implants more difficult to insert, because of the relatively small incision size. Your surgeon may opt for a different type of incision should you choose silicone gel implants. Some women with particularly small areolae are not candidates for this type of incision. Periareolar incisions may also produce a greater incidence of capsular contracture: an immune response to foreign materials that causes collagen fibre capsules to form and squeeze the breast implants.
Because transaxillary incisions are located further from the breast cavity, breast augmentations using this type of incision are more technically difficult, and are therefore more likely to produce an asymmetrical result. For this reason, only a skilled, experienced surgeon should perform breast augmentation using transaxillary incisions, in order to ensure optimal results. In addition, while it is possible to insert silicone gel implants using transaxillary incisions, they are not the ideal choice for this type of implant. In cases where implant replacement or revision is necessary, another incision must be made, as the transaxillary incision cannot be reopened. Furthermore, certain types of breasts are not suited to transaxillary incisions. Your surgeon will review your suitability for this type of incision on a case-by-case basis.