Plastic surgery on the breasts involves incisions. This is how it becomes possible to insert the implants into the breasts. There are different types of incisions that can be used during a breast augmentation with implants. The type of incision to be used depends on the anatomy of the patient, mostly the current condition of the breast tissues, the size of the silicone implants, and also the type of implant filling – saline solution or silicone gel.
We have three types of incisions that can be used for breast augmentation:
– Periareolar incision
– Inframammary incision
– Transaxillary incision
The periareolar incision is performed in a circular manner around the edges of the areolas. It can be used to insert small silicone implants or saline solution implants as they will be filled after being inserted into the breasts. These incisions heal nicely if the patient won’t develop abnormal scarring and if the post-op indications are followed to the letter. Due to the natural difference in color between the areola and the surrounding breast tissue, the scars will be difficult to notice a year after the surgery when they will be completely healed and matured.
However, if the patient opts for bigger silicone gel implants, chances are periareolar incisions can’t be used as they won’t make enough room to insert the implant and the plastic surgeon will recommend the inframammary incision. The inframammary incision is performed on the fold under the breasts where the breast tissue meets the thorax. The incision will follow the natural line of the breasts and allows for inserting even larger silicone implants. This incision is also preferred if the patient has a tendency for abnormal scarring as the scars are hidden in the natural folds of the body.
Another advantage of the inframammary incision is that it doesn’t section all the tissues of the breasts to allow for the implant to be inserted like with the periareolar incision. This means that after breast augmentation surgery, the woman won’t have reduced chances of being able to breastfeed.
The transaxiallary incision is also called the “blind” method and used only by a limited number of plastic surgeons. The limited use is not due to the fact that it is more complicated, but the fact that it allows little visibility for the plastic surgeon during the operation as well as limited control. The transaxillary incision is preferred by patients who don’t want to have any incisions on the breasts. However, if this is why you were considering this type of incision, you should know that in case complications occur and the implants need to be removed or replaced (like in a case of an expired warranty), the inframammary incision will be used. In other words, an additional intervention won’t use the same transaxillary incision but will go with the inframammary approach.